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Interface - Comunicação, Saúde, Educação

On-line version ISSN 1807-5762


NUNES, Mônica de Oliveira. Anthropological intersections in mental health: from naturalistic regimes of truth to the biopsychosociocultural thickness of mental illness. Interface (Botucatu) [online]. 2012, vol.16, n.43, pp.903-916.  Epub Dec 04, 2012. ISSN 1807-5762.

In contemporary psychiatry, a hegemonic transnational project centered on naturalistic discourse about mental illness disseminates a regime of truth based on explanation of its physiopathology and on mastery of its treatment. Despite this diffusion, some studies have demonstrated how this discourse has different repercussions in specific cultural contexts, showing socioanthropological modulations of biotherapeutics in people's material state of health and the uses and meanings attributed to diagnoses. A second group of studies has analyzed historical constructions of mental illnesses and has defined cultural polarities placing value on certain types of behavior as either perverse or virtuous. A third group has analyzed the uses of cultural resources as a means of negotiating experiences of otherness and has defined cultural contexts that are more open to difference. This article makes a review of these three perspectives, putting emphasis on intersections between history, culture, society and biology that put mental illnesses into context.

Keywords : Anthropology medical; Mental health; Drug utilization; Social construction; Otherness.

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