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Madness, Bureaucracy and Gender in Mumbai, India
Narratives from a Psychiatric Hospital
340 pages, 11 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-80539-068-8 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (September 2023)
eISBN 978-1-80539-369-6 eBook
“The cases in this book are wonderful, rich and full of complexities … They are the heart of the book and offer insights into diverse lives and resonant themes, especially related to gender, marriage, queer lives and kin dynamics.” • Sarah Pinto, Tufts University
“The book offers an excellent ethnography and an original analysis of several challenges and dilemmas faced by mental health workers and long stay patients in institutionalized psychiatry in contemporary India. I very much enjoyed reading the book, especially the author’s self-reflexive approach and positioning in the field.” • Helene Basu, University of Münster
Regional mental hospitals in India are perceived as colonial artefacts in need of reformation. In the last two decades, there has been discussion around the maltreatment of patients, corruption and poor quality of mental health treatment in these institutions. This ethnography scrutinizes the management of madness in one of these asylum-like institutions in the context of national change and the global mental health movement. The author explores the assembling and impact of psychiatric, bureaucratic, gendered and queer narratives in and around the hospital. Finally, the author attempts to reconcile social anthropology and psychiatry by scrutinising their divergent approaches towards ‘mad narratives’.
Annika Strauss is a Postdoctoral research and teaching fellow at the Department for Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Münster, Germany. Until recently she was a project coordinator of a community health project that collaboratively developed disease preventive measures for vulnerable segments of the population in Bochum (Ruhr area).
Subject: Medical AnthropologyGender Studies and Sexuality
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