Schizophrenia, Culture, and Subjectivity: The Edge of Experience (Cambridge Studies in Medical Anthropology)

Schizophrenia, Culture, and Subjectivity: The Edge of Experience (Cambridge Studies in Medical Anthropology)

Language: English

Pages: 382


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This 2004 volume brings together a number of the foremost scholars - anthropologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and historians - studying schizophrenia, its subjective dimensions, and the cultural processes through which these are experienced. Based on research undertaken in Australia, Bangladesh, Borneo, Canada, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, the United States and Zanzibar, it also incorporates a critical analysis of World Health Organization cross-cultural findings. Contributors share an interest in subjective and interpretive aspects of illness, but all work with a concept of schizophrenia that addresses its biological dimensions. The volume is of interest to scholars in the social and human sciences for the theoretical attention given to the relationship between culture and subjectivity. Multidisciplinary in design, it is written in a style accessible to a diverse readership, including undergraduate students. It is of practical relevance not only to psychiatrists, but also to all mental health professionals.














lived experience, emotional expression, sense of self, family milieu, and the unspoken assumptions that they themselves bring to the clinical interaction. It is hoped, thereby, to generate a strong awareness among clinicians of the many ways, obvious and subtle, in which culture and schizophrenia mutually influence each other. REFERENCES American Psychiatric Association. 1994. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV, 4th Edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric

Dementia Praecox or the Group of Schizophrenias. New York: International Universities Press. Bourgois, Philippe. 1995. In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Chapman, James. 1966. “The Early Symptoms of Schizophrenia.” British Journal of Psychiatry 112: 225–51. Cohen, Carl I. 1993. “Poverty and the Course of Schizophrenia: Implications for Research and Policy.” Hospital and Community Psychiatry 44(10): 951–8. Csordas, Thomas. 1994a. Embodiment and

literal and conceptual, or between emic and etic. Insufficient scholarly attention, however, has been devoted within the literature to the sociolinguistic dimensions of this enterprise, which are equally as critical in producing a body of questions that make sense to those being questioned, especially social sense. The status of an interviewee vis-`a-vis the interviewer may determine, for example, whether one uses tu or vous, or their equivalents. Within many Indian languages, the caste

convergences and discrepancies between patients’ and families’ perspectives. Thus, it begins with the disruption introduced by psychosis: While patients are immersed within what is occurring, family members attempt to deal with their own anxiety and feelings of strangeness. In the course of this analysis, we identified three themes that appeared to us to be central to patients’ narratives: a quest for significance, an appeal to religious referents, and the construction of a withdrawn space. We

Cutting and Dunne 1989; Strauss 1994; Jenkins 1997), the subjective experience of schizophrenia has been a neglected area of research in the latter part of the twentieth century. Some people with schizophrenia say that it affects their sense of who they are, their body, their thoughts and feelings, their day-to-day activities, and the people around them. The illness seems to pervade their world. Yet this is by no means the only pathway leading from a psychotic episode. Many of those with

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