Debating the first principles of transcultural psychiatryExploratory Award
Dr Gavin Miller, University of Glasgow
Prof. Kamaldeep Bhui, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary, University of London
Dr Simon Dein, Mental Health Sciences Unit, University of London
Dr Glòria Durà-Vilà, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Stefan Ecks, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh
Dr Chris Harding, School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh
Dr Cheryl McGeachan, School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow
Dr Matthew Smith, Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare, University of Strathclyde
Professor Tim Thornton, School of Health, University of Central Lancashire
Dr Ross White, Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow
Transcultural psychiatry deals with cultural factors in the cause, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illness. It is a field in which medical science and the humanities have collaborated since the post-war period, and it is growing in importance because of the encounter, diffusion, and mingling of cultures through globalizing forces such as migration and the mass media.
The project brought together eleven collaborators from different backgrounds, including social anthropology, geography, history medical humanities and philosophy, and asked them to discuss what they saw as fundamental questions for the field. They did so via face-to-face workshops, and extensive discussions within an online forum.
The debates opened clear lines of interrogation, thematically identified by the PI as pertaining to: a) the post-colonial, globalizing problematic of the field, and consequent limitations; b) the cultural specificity, or otherwise, of mental illness; c) the overlap of transcultural psychiatry with identity politics, including new “illness identities”; d) the border disputes, and traffic, between psychiatric and religious ideas and practices; e) the unity of transcultural psychiatry, and its wider social and political commentary; f) the clinical aptitudes motivated by cultural accounts of mental health.
A Case Study (PDF) of this AHRC Science in Culture Theme Exploratory Award is available to download here.