Features

Ebola 2014. Chronicle of a well-prepared disaster

This article is part of the series:

A French version of this piece was originally published in Libération on 18 September 2014.

“It is useless to laboriously interpret disaster movies in terms of their relation to an ‘objective’ social crisis or even to an ‘objective’ phantasm of disaster,” wrote Jean Baudrillard in 1981. “It is in another sense that (…) it is the social itself that, in …

Features

Side Effect

Environmental researchers have recently documented that American rivers and lakes are filled with highly medicated fish – doped on a wide spectrum of antidepressants.  It turns out that Americans are treated for anxiety, depression, and fear at such high rates these days that a huge amount of un-metabolized pharmaceutical-grade chemicals simply flush through their bodies every day, out into sewers, …

Features

Socialism and the Psy-ences: The Past, the Post-, and the Beyond

The conference “From the New Socialist Person to Global Mental Health: The Psy-ences and Mental Health in East Central Europe and Eurasia” (April 29th-30th 2013, University of Chicago)* set out to examine the shifting objects of knowledge and programs of intervention associated with the psy-ences in the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. …

Features

From disability stigma to disability value: Notes from research on disability in urban India

I am a medical anthropologist who researches deaf and disabled peoples’ social, moral, and economic practices in urban India. When speaking with colleagues and friends in the United States and elsewhere, I am invariably asked about the existence of stigma in India and whether deaf or disabled people are treated as stigmatized. People also ask me about pollution and if …

Features

From Chicken Sheds to Random Control Trials: A Commentary on the “Bio-Social Methods for a Vitalist Social Science” Workshop

The “Bio-Social Methods for a Vitalist Social Science” Workshop – held at the University of Birmingham on July 16, 2013 –  aimed to reaffirm the role of the social sciences in a time when insights from behavioural science such as social psychology, behavioural economics, environmental psychology, neuroeconomics, and neuroscience are increasing being used to justify new policy mechanisms in the …

Books

Book review: Clara Han’s Life in Debt

Life in Debt: Times of Care and Violence in Neoliberal Chile

by Clara Han

University of California Press, 2012

298 pp, US$26.95 paperback

 

Life in Debt is not an easy read. This ethnography of care and violence—intimate, political and governmental— in La Pincoya, a poor neighborhood of neoliberal Santiago, effectively draws the reader into the everyday rhythms of its …