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This book is one of the first to integrate psychological and medical anthropology with the methodologies of visual anthropology, specifically ethnographic film. It discusses and complements the work presented in Afflictions: Culture and Mental Illness in Indonesia, the first film series on psychiatric disorders in the developing world, in order to explore pertinent issues in the cross-cultural study of mental illness and advocate for the unique role film can play both in the discipline and in participants’ lives.

Through ethnographically rich and self-reflexive discussions of the films, their production, and their impact, the book at once provides theoretical and practical guidance, encouragement, and caveats for students and others who may want to make such films.

 

Part of the Culture Mind and Society Series

  • Offers an emergent theory and methodology uniquely situated to capture the lived realities of people with mental illness

  • Explores how the authors’ form of visual practice and orientation, visual psychological anthropology, reshapes the entire research process

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The Society for Psychological Anthropology—a section of the American Anthropology Association—and Palgrave Macmillan are dedicated to publishing innovative research that illuminates the workings of the human mind within the social, cultural, and political contexts that shape thought, emotion, and experience. As anthropologists seek to bridge gaps between ideation and emotion or agency and structure and as psychologists, psychiatrists, and medical anthropologists search for ways to engage with cultural meaning and difference, this interdisciplinary terrain is more active than ever.  


Reviews

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This is a ground-breaking volume, detailing how visual anthropology can be used to study and teach about mental disorders in cross-cultural perspective. The authors combine expertise in the visual modality with deep knowledge of ethnography and psychological anthropology […]. This is an intellectual tour de force, which should have wide appeal across multiple disciplines.
— Devon E. Hinton, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
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This book offers much-needed direction for the integration of ethnographic film in our work […]. A must read for students of anthropology. We will all refer to it often.
— Jill E. Korbin, Director at the Schubert Center for Child Studies at Case Western Reserve University
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Afflictions is a game changer in psychological anthropology, irrefutably illustrating the importance of ethnographic film as a central medium for a holistic understanding of human experience.
— —M. Cameron Hay, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Global Health Studies, Miami University
 

Part of the Culture, Mind, and Society Series

  • Offers an emergent theory and methodology uniquely situated to capture the lived realities of people with mental illness

  • Explores how the authors’ form of visual practice and orientation, visual psychological anthropology, reshapes the entire research process

  • Complements the six-part, award-winning film series Afflictions: Culture and Mental Illness in Indonesia


Chapters

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Visual Psychological Anthropology: A Vignette and Prospectus

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The Bird Dancer: Recognizing Social Rejection and Suffering

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Memory of My Face: Globalization, Madness, and Identity Onscreen

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The Process of Visual Psychological Anthropology

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Perspectives on Integrating Ethnographic Film into Psychological Anthropology

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Shadows and Illuminations: Interpreting and Framing Extraordinary Experience

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Ritual Burdens; Culturally Defined Stressors and Developmental Progressions

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Collaboration, Intervention, Compensation, and Ethics

Culture and Mental Illness Outcome in Indonesia

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Family Victim: Encountering Deviance and Representing Intersubjectivity

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Kites and Monsters: Continuity in Cultural Practices

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Visual Psychological Anthropology: Implications for Teaching and the Future

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Authors

 Robert Lemelson

Robert Lemelson

Robert Lemelson is Associate Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA, Founder and Director at Elemental Productions, and Founder and President of The Foundation for Psychocultural Research.

 Annie Tucker

Annie Tucker

Annie Tucker is Lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA, and Senior Researcher at Elemental Productions.