Call for Papers: DEFINING DISCOURSE, SHAPING SELVES: INSTITUTIONAL ETHOS AND GLOBAL MENTAL HEALTH
Call for Papers Date:
CALL FOR PAPERS
AAA Annual Meeting
Montreal, QC, Canada, November 16-20, 2011
Organizers: Whitney L. Duncan, Bridget Haas, Charlotte van den Hout (UC-San Diego)
Please send paper abstracts to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 5, 2011.
DEFINING DISCOURSE, SHAPING SELVES: INSTITUTIONAL ETHOS AND GLOBAL MENTAL HEALTH
This panel brings together papers on the ethos of institutions and professional practice in settings of mental healthcare, public health, humanitarianism, and human rights. From psychiatric clinics to immigration offices and court hearings, such contexts are constituted by professional actors who play significant roles in shaping the subjectivities, identities, and emotions of their patients and clients. Drawing on ethnographic studies situated at the intersection of medical and psychological anthropology, this session will examine the construction of professional identities and institutional ethos in a variety of arenas that concern or impact mental health, and explores how professional actors interact with larger cultural processes both within and beyond their institutional settings. How are different kinds of professional expertise defined, contested, and negotiated? How do institutional actors interact with experiences of the individuals under their care? What “legacies” and “traces” does professional ethos leave in broader societal and legal processes that impact mental health?
Papers include an analysis of the politics of trauma within the political asylum process in the United States, and contestations over what constitutes ‘expertise’ in the assessment of refugees’ testimonies of violence and persecution; the role of communication in the construction and assumption of medical authority among psychiatric residents in Morocco; and the efforts of Mexican mental health practitioners to effect cultural change and shape public discourse in Oaxaca.
The panel aims to highlight the variety of players and professionals involved in the field of mental health and areas of human rights, and to emphasize their role in shaping ideology, legal outcome, identity, and subjectivity. Further, it intends to examine how local configurations of professional practice represent conformity with or divergence from homogenized global mental health care.
Whitney L. Duncan
Department of Anthropology
University of California-San Diego Email: email@example.com
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