THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF PSYCHIATRY
• What is mental health?
• What is mental illness?
• Are mental health issues the same world-wide? Why or why not?
• What do you think might change the meaning or context of mental health?
• more of a temporality and plasticity seen with trauma-adverse condition based
approach to mental illness rather than biomedical, which sees something as
genetically inherent and less reversable
• Reading the Diagnoistics and Statistics Manual (DSM): Engaging a Dialogue
between Anthropology and Psychiatry
• Anthropology and psychiatry:
◦ reading the DSM: thinking through the mind/body distinction and its
◦ Transcultural Psychiatry and cross-cultural variation in mental disorders
• "Seeing" mental disorders: a consideration of the bioscience of the brain in the
construction of the person
• Focus: anthropology and the mind/brain
Mental Health in Cross-Cutlural Perspective
• Anthropologists study the cross-cultural evaluations of health and illness
◦ how are mental disorders made sense of in different societies?
▪ Nevra, Culture-Bound Syndrome, Susto, Amok, Arctic Hysteria,
◦ What are the implications (social, personal) of these different ways of
thinking about mental disorders
◦ Do all societies view disroders in the same way?
▪ psychiatrists trying to identify commonalities universals for why
certain types of mental health are manifesting in different parts of
◦ How do diagnostic categories/treatements change in a transnational