Volume 34 (2020) RSS feed for this section

Pharmaceutical Creep: U.S. Military Power and the Global and Transnational Mobility of Psychopharmaceuticals

In 2006, the United States Department of Defense developed for the first time official criteria for the use of psychopharmaceuticals “in theater”—in the physical and tactical spaces of military operations including active combat. Based on fieldwork with Army soldiers and veterans, this article explores the transnational and global dimensions of military psychopharmaceutical use in the […]

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“Making Patients” in Postwar and Resource-scarce Settings. Diagnosing and Treating Mental Illness in Postwar Kosovo

Postwar development contexts are increasingly sites of mental health and psychosocial interventions in which local health providers are trained by foreign experts in evidence‐based diagnostic and treatment strategies. Underlying this course of action is a well‐accepted biomedical logic that assumes symptoms can be identified and translated into mental disorders, and disorders into forms of treatment. […]

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Exceeding Crisis. The Psychic Life of Drawings

Since 2015, an unprecedented number of people from Middle Eastern and African countries have crossed borders into and within Europe. Media and political actors describe this time as an “emergency” and a “crisis” that challenges the core of European values and human rights principles. Calling this a crisis implies responding to it, on the one […]

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Armed against Unhappiness: Psychoanalytic Grammars in Buenos Aires

Psychoanalysis has produced an ensemble of institutions, expertise, procedures, and practices for rendering the psychoanalytic subject legible and, through this, psychic life as an actionable site of intervention, dislocation, and struggle. This article examines how diverse psychoanalytic communities in Buenos Aires have produced unique grammars that influence how individuals articulate ideas about health and well‐being. […]

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In the Mind of Dementia: Neurobiological Empathy, Incommensurability, and the Dementia Tojisha Movement in Japan

Living in the world’s leading superaging society, Japanese are confronted with a tsunami of dementia that has generated fear of becoming mentally incommensurable to oneself and to others. Based on three years of fieldwork in various clinical settings, including a memory clinic in Tokyo, I show how people with dementia (dementia tojishas) and doctors have […]

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Commentary: Animating the Psyche

For global metrics to have purchase, they must be imbued by more than what Reubi (2018) terms, with a nod to Weber, the “quantificational spirit” of the new epidemiology. They must be animated, brought to life (“animate” derives from the Latin anima, “soul”). Friction is produced in the animation of these categories, without which local encounters […]

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A Medical Anthropology of the “Global Psyche”

A medical anthropology of the “global psyche” may sound like an odd project. Is there one psyche that pervades the whole globe? In their introduction to this special issue, Dominique Béhague and Kenneth MacLeish dissuade any suggestion of either the global or the psyche as entities that could be examined like substances. Neither the psyche […]

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Ghost‐Managed Medicine: Big Pharma’s Invisible Hands

Murphy Halliburton and the students of Anthropology of Pharmaceuticals[1]   This review is collectively authored by Prof. Murphy Halliburton and the advanced undergraduate anthropology students who took his “Anthropology of Pharmaceuticals” class in Spring 2019 at Queens College, CUNY, in which this book was assigned. In the eyes of this audience, this work was highly […]

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Animal Ethos: The Morality of Human‐Animal Encounters in Experimental Lab Science

John Hartigan, Jr. Ethnographers are generating a more detailed view of humans’ relationships with other animals. Quite poignantly, Animal Ethos, by Leslie Sharp, focuses on the deaths of laboratory research animals, which possibly number in the millions annually worldwide. This book is crucial for anyone seeking to understand how researchers and lab technicians think about […]

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Jailcare: Finding the Safety Net for Women behind Bars

Kaya Naomi Williams Carolyn Sufrin’s Jailcare: Finding the Safety Net for Women behind Bars begins with “Evelyn,” the pseudonymous woman whose experiences with prenatal healthcare in San Francisco’s municipal jail anchor the ethnography and lend it life. “Everyone says I got arrested,” Evelyn says, “but I got rescued.” The question of how being forcibly taken […]

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