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The Psychiatric Team and the Social Definition of Schizophrenia : An Anthropological Study of Person and Illness
Barrett, Rob
Cambridge University Press / Softcover / 2006-11-01 / 052103146X
price: $64.95 (may be subject to change)
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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.

• Author is both an anthropologist and a psychiatrist
• Foreword by Byron Good, eminent Press author and series editor
• Deals with issues of definition, responsibility and autonomy that are highly topical among mental health professionals

"Dr. Robert J. Barrett brings to this volume an interesting blend of medical and ethnographic perspectives on the culture of psychiatric institutions...highlights of the volume are the author's masterful application of social science theories to common clinical situations...Dr. Barrett uses helpful diagrams to illustrate complex ideas, and his style of writing is engaging, with a tone that is scholarly yet not abstract...I appreciate Dr. Barrett's cultural and anthropological observations of daily experiences in the care of hospitalized psychiatric patients...I highly recommend this book to anyone who works at a public psychiatric hospital and to those who are interested in learning about the culture of institutions." Antonia S. Austria, M.D., Psychiatric Services

"I recommend the book highly to clinicians and researchers...Clinicians in training, including psychiatric registrars, would, I believe, derive great benefit and be pleasurably educated." Biological Psychiatry

Table of Contents

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

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