The Cultural Construction of Professional and Folk Psychiatries

Edited by Atwood D. Gaines

Subjects: Psychiatry
Series: SUNY series in Medical Anthropology
Paperback : 9780791410226, 506 pages, August 1992
Hardcover : 9780791410219, 506 pages, August 1992

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents


Section I - Orientations

1. Ethnopsychiatry: The Cultural Construction of Psychiatries
Atwood D. Gaines

2. The Subject of Power in Medical/Psychiatric Anthropology
Lorna Amarasingham Rhodes

Section II - Illness, Experience, and the Problems of Ethnopsychiatric Knowledge

3. Notes on a Defrocked Priest: Comparing South Indian Shamanic and American Psychiatric Diagnosis
Charles W. Nuckolls

4. Unintended Therapy: Psychotherapeutic Aspects of Chiropractic
Kathryn S. Oths

5. The Affliction of Martin: Religious, Clinical, and Phenomenological Meaning in a Case of Demonic Oppression
Thomas J. Csordas

6. Medical/Psychiatric Knowledge in France and the United States: Culture and Sickness in History and Biology
Atwood D. Gaines

7. Too Close for Comfort: Schizophrenia and Emotional Overinvolvement Among Mexicano Families
Janis Hunter Jenkins

Section III - Professional Ethnopsychiatric Ideologies and Institutions

8. Professional Ethnopsychiatry in South Africa: The Questin of Relativism
Leslie Swartz

9. The Birth of the Klinik: A Cultural History of Haitian Professional Psychiatry
Paul Farmer

10. Psychiatrist and Patient in Japan: An Analysis of Interactions in an Outpatient Clinic
Naoki Nomura

11. Attendants and Their World of Work
Ellen Dwyer

12. Psychiatric Institutions: Rules and the Accommodation of Structure and Autonomy in France and the United States
Helena Jia Hershel

13. The Rise of Greek Professional Ethnopsychiatry
Amy V. Blue

14. Conflicts of Cultures in a State Mental Hospital System
Pearl Katz

15. Georg Groddeck's Integrative Massage and Psychotherapy Treatment in Germany
Thomas W. Maretzki

Section IV - Sources and Resources

16. The Ethnopsychiatric Repertoire: A Review and Overview of Ethnopsychiatric Studies
Amy V. Blue and Atwood D. Gaines

List of Contributors

Name Index

Subject Index


This book outlines a "new ethnopsychiatry," one that considers popular or folk ethnomedicines and professional psychiatric systems in the same discourse, effacing the traditional distinction between psychiatry and ethnopsychiatry. The essays in this volume are from a diverse, interdisciplinary group representing history, psychology, sociology, and medicine, as well as anthropology. The author view both ethnomedical practices and illness as local cultural constructions. They consider ideologies and institutions from both professional and popular ethnopsychiatric systems in America, Western Europe, South Africa, the Caribbean, Japan, and India.

The book demonstrates that professional and popular psychiatric medicines lie along the same local cultural continua, that professional, "scientific" psychiatries and less formalized systems of local popular psychology are epistemological relatives, aspects of common cultural discourses on normality and abnormality. The essays reject the notion of a universal, uniform reality of psychopathology beyond cultural boundaries, but the data strongly support the cultural and historically constructed nature of ethnopsychiatry, in its illness, ideologies, and institutions. Contributors to this volume include Amy V. Blue, Thomas Csordas, Ellen Dwyer, Paul E. Farmer, M. D., Atwood D. Gaines, Helena Jia Hershel, Janis Jenkins, Pearl Katz, Thomas Maretzki, Naoki Nomura, Charles Nuckolls, Kathryn Oths, Lorna Amarasingham Rhodes, and Leslie Swartz.

Atwood D. Gaines is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University and School of Medicine.