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Psychiatry Interrogated: An Institutional Ethnography Anthology
Edited by Bonnie Burstow
Palgrave Macmillan / Softcover / Nov 2016
9783319424736 (ISBN-10: 3319424734)
Mad Studies
price: $69.50 (may be subject to change)
235 pages
Not in Stock, but usually ships within 2-3 weeks

This edited volume is an anthology of institutional ethnography (IE) inquiries into psychiatry—the first ever to be written. It focuses on a large variety of different geographic locations and constitutes a major contribution to anti/critical psychiatry, as well as institutional ethnography. Themes include the DSM, the use and protection of problematic psychiatric research, the penetration of psychiatry into the workplace. Adding depth and breath, the contributors, while all are schooled in IE, come from a large variety of walks of life, authors including: academics, psychiatric survivors, investigative reporters, activists, nurses, artists, and lawyers—each bringing their own unique expertise/standpoint to bear. The result is an intellectually rigorous book, contributions to several disciplines, ammunition for activism, and a compelling read that cannot be put down.


“This is the first book I am aware of to combine critical interrogation of the relations of psychiatry with approaches influenced by institutional ethnography. Chapters open up for investigation a number of the terrains of psychiatric practice that must be challenged and transformed. For those concerned with psychiatry as a ruling relation this is an important opening up of inquiry.” (Gary Kinsman, scholar, activist, and co-author of “The Canadian War on Queers and an editor of Sociology for Changing the World”)

“The institutional ethnography focus distinguishes this book from any other book that is critical of psychiatry. Likewise, the critique of psychiatry within its pages enters into several under-explored corners of psychiatric oppression and thus distinguishes it from any other book written in the field of institutional ethnography. This book, then, must be read as an important contribution not only to sociology and institutional ethnography, but also to the theorizing and exposing of psychiatry as a regime of ruling taking place within critiques of psychiatry.” (Brenda A. LeFrançois, Professor, School of Social Work, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, and Editor of “Intersectionalities”)

About the Editor:

Bonnie Burstow is Associate Professor at University of Toronto, Canada. She is also a philosopher, feminist therapist, and antipsychiatry activist. Other works include: Psychiatry and the Business of Madness (2015), Radical Feminist Therapy (1992), Psychiatry Disrupted (2014), ”Toward a Radical Understanding of Trauma and Trauma Work”, and “A Rose by Any Other Name: Naming and the Battle against Psychiatry”

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