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Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry

Taewoo Kim
This study examines the perceptual basis of diagnostic virtuosity in East Asian medicine, combining Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology and an ethnographic investigation of Korean medicine in South Korea. A novice, being exposed to numerous clinical transactions during apprenticeship, organizes perceptual experience that occurs between him or herself and patients. In the process, the fledgling practitioner's body begins to set up a medically-tinged "intentionality" interconnecting his or her consciousness and medically significant qualities in patients...
October 21, 2016: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Gisella Orsini
This article aims to shed light on the self-perceptions of people with eating disorders in Malta and Italy through a deep understanding of their narratives. In contrast to the biomedical perception of the phenomenon and in opposition with the prevalent feminist theories on the subject, I consider eating disorders as the result of self-transformative processes. I suggest that anorexics, bulimics and binge eaters are actively and deliberately engaged in a project of moral self-transformation that is culturally defined...
October 19, 2016: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Christine N El Ouardani
Based on 9 months of ethnographic fieldwork in a U.S. mental health clinic focused on the treatment of preschool-aged children who exhibited extremely disruptive behavior, this article examines the contradictions clinicians faced when trying to identify and attribute "intentionality" to very young children. Disruptive, aggressive behavior is one of the central symptoms involved in a wide-range of childhood psychopathology and the number one reason young children are referred to mental health clinics in the United States...
October 19, 2016: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Brian Watermeyer
Social scientific analyses of inequality inform interventions ranging from the material and political to the personal and psychological. At the extremes of this continuum, Marxian militants view the exploration of the inner lives of oppressed people as irrelevant to liberation, while psychoanalysts bemoan the naïveté of "depsychologized" conceptions of the social subject. While both approaches have been applied to disability inequality, an historical materialist view has dominated the discipline of disability studies, where attention has only recently turned to psychological aspects of oppression...
September 8, 2016: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Ariel Yankellevich, Yehuda C Goodman
Following the growing critique of the use of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in post-disaster interventions, a new type of intervention aimed at building resilience in the face of traumatic events has been making its first steps in the social field. Drawing on fieldwork of a resilience-building program for pre-clinical populations in Israel, we analyze the paradoxes and ambiguities entailed in three inter-related aspects of this therapeutic project: The proposed clinical ideology aimed at immunizing against traumas; the discursive and non-discursive practices used by the mental-health professionals; and, participants' difficulties to inhabit the new resilient subject...
September 8, 2016: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Emily Mendenhall, Kristin Yarris, Brandon A Kohrt
In the past decade anthropologists working the boundary of culture, medicine, and psychiatry have drawn from ethnographic and epidemiological methods to interdigitate data and provide more depth in understanding critical health problems. But rarely do these studies incorporate psychiatric inventories with ethnographic analysis. This article shows how triangulation of research methods strengthens scholars' ability (1) to draw conclusions from smaller data sets and facilitate comparisons of what suffering means across contexts; (2) to unpack the complexities of ethnographic and narrative data by way of interdigitating narratives with standardized evaluations of psychological distress; and (3) to enhance the translatability of narrative data to interventionists and to make anthropological research more accessible to policymakers...
August 23, 2016: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
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No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2016: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2016: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Boon-Ooi Lee
Since spirit possession in mediumship and shamanism resembles psychotic symptoms, early researchers perceived spirit mediums and shamans as psychiatric patients whose psychopathology was culturally sanctioned. However, other researchers have not only challenged this assumption, but also proposed that spirit possession has transformative benefits. The idiom of spirit possession provides cultural meanings for spirit mediums and shamans to express and transform their personal experiences. The present case study focuses on dang-ki healing, a form of Chinese mediumship practiced in Singapore, in which a deity possesses a human (i...
September 2016: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Yu-Chuan Wu
In Japan, the first half of the twentieth century saw a remarkable revival of concern with the cultivation of the belly, with a variety of belly-cultivation techniques, particularly breathing exercise and meditative sitting, widely practiced for improving health and treating diseases. This article carefully examines some practitioners' experiences of belly-cultivation practice in attempting to understand its healing effects for them within their life histories and contemporary intellectual, social and cultural contexts...
September 2016: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Ellen Badone, David Nicholas, Wendy Roberts, Peter Kien
Situated at the intersection of anthropological work on illness narratives and research on the anthropology of autism, this paper is a close reading of an autobiographical narrative recounted by Peter, a young man diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a type of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Responding to Solomon's (2010a:252) call for phenomenologically grounded accounts of "the subjective, sensory, and perceptual experiences of autism … based on personal narratives and practices of being and self-awareness," this paper calls into question key assumptions in the clinical and popular literature about ASD relating to theory of mind, empathy, capacity for metaphorical thinking, and ASD as a life-long condition...
September 2016: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Javier Saavedra, Marcelino López, Sergio Gonzáles, Rosario Cubero
Employment has been highlighted as a determinant of health and as an essential milestone in the recovery process of people with serious mental illness. Different types of programs and public services have been designed to improve the employability of this population. However, there has not been much interest in the meanings attributed to these experiences and the negative aspects of work experience. In this research, we explored the meanings that participants attributed to their work experience and the impact of work on their recovery process...
September 2016: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Jeannette Pols, Sarah Limburg
Although people often refer to quality of life and there is a respectable research tradition to establish it, the meaning of the term is unclear. In this article we qualitatively study an intervention of which the quantitative effects are documented as indecisive. We do this in order to learn more about what the meaning of the term quality of life means when it is studied in daily life. With the help of these findings we reflect on the intricacies of objectifying and measuring quality of life using quantitative research designs...
September 2016: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Alessandra Lamas Granero Lucchetti, Giancarlo Lucchetti, Frederico Camelo Leão, Mario Fernando Prieto Peres, Homero Vallada
The present study aims to describe the characteristics of the complementary religious treatment conducted by Spiritist centers in the city of São Paulo (Brazil), to understand how physical and mental health problems are addressed and how the directors of these centers differentiate between persons with spiritual experiences from those with psychiatric disorders. From 365 Spiritist centers, which received the questionnaire, 55 (15.1 %) were included in the final analysis. There were on average 261 people per week attending spiritual sessions in each center, totalizing approximately 15,000 attendees per week in all 55 centers...
September 2016: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
T N den Hertog, M de Jong, A J van der Ham, D Hinton, R Reis
"Thinking too much", and variations such as "thinking a lot", are common idioms of distress across the world. The contextual meaning of this idiom of distress in particular localities remains largely unknown. This paper reports on a systematic study of the content and cause, consequences, and social response and coping related to the local terms |x'an n|a te and |eu-ca n|a te, both translated as "thinking a lot", and was part of a larger ethnographic study among the Khwe of South Africa. Semi-structured exploratory interviews with community members revealed that "thinking a lot" refers to a common experience of reflecting on personal and interpersonal problems...
September 2016: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Sara Cooper
A strong movement has emerged recently which is highlighting the high levels of untreated mental illness in Africa and making proposals for reducing this 'gap' in mental health care. This movement has been criticised for insufficiently attending to the epistemologies embedded in its recommendations, and inadequately considering the views of practitioners 'on the ground'. Employing a narrative-based approach, I accessed the stories about the mental health 'treatment gap' of 28 psychiatrists all working clinically in public mental health care settings in South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria or Ethiopia...
September 2016: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Tine Molendijk, Eric-Hans Kramer, Désirée Verweij
Research indicates that soldiers struggling with PTSD under-utilize mental health care. Quantitative studies of barriers to care point to the importance of soldiers' beliefs about mental health and mental health interventions in their care-seeking behavior, yet these studies still struggle to understand the particular beliefs involved and the ways they impact care-seeking behavior. This preliminary study makes a start in examining these questions through qualitative literature analysis. It maps out dominant messages surrounding PTSD in military mental health interventions, and explores how they can both shape and conflict with soldiers' personal notions...
September 2016: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Toomas Gross
"Air (aire, also aigre) in the body" is a frequent explanation of illness according to the traditional medical beliefs in Mexico. Anthropologists have generally scrutinized aire in the context of other common folk illnesses treated by traditional healers (curanderas). However, drawing on my research in the communities of Northern Oaxaca I suggest that aire occupies a more distinct position in the folk medical cosmology than it has usually been credited with. This distinction rests on the notion's exceptional ambivalence and openness to multiple interpretations...
July 18, 2016: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Carina Heckert
Descriptions of patient mistreatment fill ethnographic accounts of healthcare in resource-poor settings. Often, anthropologists point to structural factors and the ways that the global political economy produces substandard care. This approach makes it difficult to hold parties accountable when there is blatant disregard for human life on the part of individuals providing care. In this article, I draw on the illness narrative of Magaly Chacón, the first HIV positive individual in Bolivia to file charges of medical negligence after failing to receive care to prevent mother-to-child transmission...
June 18, 2016: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
Julie Netherland, Helena B Hansen
The past decade in the U.S. has been marked by a media fascination with the white prescription opioid cum heroin user. In this paper, we contrast media coverage of white non-medical opioid users with that of black and brown heroin users to show how divergent representations lead to different public and policy responses. A content analysis of 100 popular press articles from 2001 and 2011 in which half describe heroin users and half describe prescription opioid users revealed a consistent contrast between criminalized urban black and Latino heroin injectors with sympathetic portrayals of suburban white prescription opioid users...
June 6, 2016: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
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