Features

Family

This article is part of the series:

If you spend any time in a psychiatric hospital in China, you will likely be struck by the fact that most of the inpatients there have been hospitalized against or regardless of their will, usually by their family members. In China, although families have long been involved in the lives of mentally ill patients, the ways in which they are …

Features

Lifetimes

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“It’s only Veria who can bathe our old mama,” remarked mama’s daughter-in-law with gentle amusement. “Because Veria is blind. You know how modest mama is. She doesn’t want anyone to see her private parts.” Veria’s devoted care for her mother extends far beyond bathing. Recently she decided that those who stay with mama were neglecting her. She collected the old …

Features

Disability from the South: Toward a Lexicon

This article is part of the series:

In this series, we work to broaden the horizons of an emergent anthropology of disability[1] by taking two considerations as the starting point for a conversation. On the one hand, we respond to Jean and John Comaroff’s (2012) provocative call for “theory from the South,” or grounding the location of social theory-making outside dominant Euro-American spaces, assumptions, and priorities. On …

Features

Opening up shrinking life-worlds

Lives change dramatically as dementia progresses. Using observations of people suffering from obsessions and compulsions, I will analyse this change along three dimensions.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterised by intrusive anxiety-provoking thoughts (obsessions) and rituals aimed at reducing anxiety, which then paradoxically come to exacerbate it (compulsions). I have been studying clinicians working with people who suffer from a severe, …

Features

Peripheral participants: Thinking through distortion, displacement, nullification

Warm haze

As I spoke, people looked at me worriedly. The kindness in their eyes was mixed with curiosity and concern. Rather than answering me, they turned to each other to discuss something beyond my grasp. I had aphasia and my incoherent stream of words was puzzling to the people around me. I spoke, I thought, in perfect sentences but …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: NFL Concussion Risk and our Chronic, Traumatic Entertainment

As the NFL continues to dominate headlines in both sports and politics, there was a renewed focus this month on CTE and its impact on the lives of players from youth to professional football. CTE, or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, is a degenerative brain disorder resulting from repeated, sub-concussive blows to the head causing the buildup of an abnormal protein called …