Bad Souls

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-02-08
  • Publisher: Duke Univ Pr
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Bad Soulsis an ethnographic study of responsibility among psychiatric patients and those who give them care in Thrace, the northeastern borderland of Greece. Elizabeth Anne Davis examines responsibility in the context of national psychiatric reform-a process designed, mandated, and funded largely by the European Union as a condition of Greek accession in the early 1980s. Aiming to shift psychiatric treatment from custodial hospitals to outpatient settings, reform policy challenged patients to help care for themselves. This “democratic experiment” has contributed to a profound questioning of Greece’s marginal share in the goods and advances associated with modernity in the West, particularly human rights and progressive medical science. Amid this questioning, decades into reform, Davis observed profound uncertainty in the practice of Greek psychiatry arising from the speculative nature of diagnosis and pharmacotherapy and from the perpetual problem of communicative ambiguity in clinical encounters. While this uncertainty is not unique to Greek psychiatry, responsibility as a moral dictate has come to govern the determination of truth in the clinics of Thrace in quite distinctive ways, with specific and pressing stakes.

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