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Pathologies of the West


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About the Author

Roland Littlewood is a clinical psychiatrist and Professor of Anthropology and Psychiatry at University College London. He is the joint director of the college's Centre for Medical Anthropology and a past President of the Royal Anthropological Institute. His books include Aliens and Alienists; Intercultural Therapy; The Butterfly and the Serpent; Readings in Cultural Psychiatry; Religion, Agency, Restitution; and Pathology and Identity, which was awarded the Wellcome Medal for Anthropology as Applied to Medicine.


"Littlewood... looks at both Western and non-Western psychiatric phenomena within broader behavioral categories... Since psychiatrists and psychologists tend to focus on the more practical aspects of cross-cultural psychiatry, this title will find its most willing audience among cultural anthropologists. For academic and research libraries."-Library Journal, June 2002 "Littlewood draws on more than two decades of international research to broaden the understanding of the dynamic interaction between culture and mental health... Littlewood's discussion of culture-bound, local illnesses advances the sharing of anthropology and psychiatry... Summing Up: Recommended."-Choice, May 2003, Vol. 40, No. 9 "Roland Littlewood is already well known for his contribution to socially contextualised psychiatric literature, and his book not only reprises some themes, such as its cultural relativity and social construction, but takes them further by applying an anthropologist's eye to the West; this time we (the West) are the exotic, and very peculiar we seem too... There are parts of this book that are quite irresistible. He charts a historical course drawing out the consistent inconsistencies of psychiatric nosology with a rather amused tone. "Isn't it all fascinating?" he seems to be saying. There are great strengths in the ways he blends together insights from other disciplines to situate psychiatry firmly within the expressions of cultural values and social mediation that define ourselves to ourselves."-Mark Welch, Ph.D. "This is a volume of interpretations by a gifted observer of clinical phenomena in relation to the sociocultural contexts in which they occur. Entertaining and, one suspects, often clinically useful, the interpretations reflect the erudition and experience of the interpreter."-The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, March 2004, vol. 192, no. 3

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