By R. Littlewood
During this vintage textual content the authors learn the hyperlinks among racism, mental ailing overall healthiness and insufficient therapy of ethnic minorities. via a sequence of case reviews they talk about: * the mental legacy of colonialism and slavery * the racist bias in psychiatric and mental concept * diagnostic bias * the function of faith in psychological future health or disease * the price of anthropological and pschoanalytic insights. The concluding bankruptcy during this version experiences the advance of 'transcultural psychiatry' and summarises adjustments in management of the psychological well-being Act.
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Additional info for Aliens and Alienists: Ethnic Minorities and Psychiatry
From ‘Memorandum on my Martinique’ in Cahier d’ un retour au Pays Natal, Aimé Césaire, trs. Lionel Abel; quoted in From the Green Antilles, ed. Barbara Howes (Souvenir Press, 1967). Two types of ‘outsiders’—the mentally ill and non-Europeans— have been referred to as aliens—people set aside by various theories as being basically different. Whatever these theories specified in detail, two similar conclusions have invariably emerged: (a) The outsiders are deficient in some particular characteristic.
Both Europeans and Americans sought in the nineteenth century development of somatometry [the science of comparative body measurements] a scapegoat for individual conscience. They saw the function of statistical somatometry as a means of gratifying the desire for certainty. They would allow the purely statistical experimental and “uninvolved” discipline of somatometry to justify an a priori judgement. Then, too, any such investigation that proved the Negro, Indian, Malay or Mongol to be below the Caucasian in the scale of civilization would again justify the new colonial policies as well as separating the races.
Not burdened with European folk-lore about psychiatrists (and endless cartoons of bearded doctors sitting next to patients on couches), he looks for themes familiar to him from his experiences with other doctors and hospitals: the ward with its rows of beds and quiet discipline, the uniformed nurses and white-coated doctors; authority, certainty, a minimum of questioning and immediate treatment. Ironically these are the very aspects of medicine which psychiatrists are discarding, in the belief that they may actually perpetuate psychological difficulties .