Non-Fiction Books:

Psychiatric Team and the Social Definition of Schizophrenia

An Anthropological Study of Person and Illness

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The Psychiatric Team and the Social Definition of Schizophrenia: An Anthropological Study of Person and Illness by Robert John Barrett
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This book is a study of schizophrenia in a modern psychiatric hospital. Its purpose is to develop a contextual understanding of schizophrenia by studying the clinical setting in which this disorder is experienced, diagnosed and treated, and it arises from an anthropological investigation of the day-to-day work of clinical staff. The author offers a penetrating analysis of the language used by hospital staff as they write and talk about their patients, and traces the evolution of the concept of schizophrenia, showing how contemporary theoretical constructs are applied by clinical staff. In its analysis of the schizophrenia team and of those experiencing the disorder, this book will reveal to mental health professionals many of the unspoken assumptions of their role. It will also confirm to social scientists and clinicians the power of the ethnographic approach in psychiatric research.

Table of Contents

Foreword; Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. Schizophrenia in context; 2. Time and space in a progressive psychiatric hospital; 3. Professional domains and the dimensions of a case; 4. Clinical teams and the 'whole person'; 5. Documenting a case: the written construction of schizophrenia; 6. Moral trajectories: from acute psychosis to 'chronic schizophrenic'; 7. Historical formulations of schizophrenia: degeneration and disintegration; 8. Contemporary formulations of schizophrenia: explaining the inexplicable; 9. Schizophrenia for practical purposes; 10. The person, the case, and schizophrenia; References; Index.
Release date Australia
January 26th, 1996
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
6 b/w illus.
Cambridge University Press
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