Culture, Ethnicity, and Mental Illness
In recent years there has been a greater recognition of how cultural concepts, values, and beliefs influence the way mental symptoms are expressed, how individuals and their families respond to mental distresses and to psychiatric diagnosis and treatment, and how mental health care is delivered community-wide.
This comprehensive, clinically oriented volume examines the expression and treatment of mental illness in the context of culture. Written by 35 international experts in the field, Culture, Ethnicity, and Mental Illness covers the areas of the clinical encounter in which culture plays a prominent role, including psychiatric epidemiology, psychotherapy, culture-bound syndromes, and psychiatric assessment.
Culture, Ethnicity, and Mental Illness provides a cultural framework in the psychiatric care of a variety of groups in the United States, including African Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Hispanics, women, elderly people, and gay men and lesbians. There is also a chapter dealing with the impact of AIDS among minorities. Eight glossaries of ethnic terms, including foreign language characters, are included.
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Semantic Scope and Depth If the concept of culture is so important and its
referents so pervasive, why then does it not figure more centrally in paradigms
and protocols for the psychiatric encounter? What kind of a concept is this that
Culture is a field concept. It refers to the empirical matrix from which elements —
factors or "variables" — may be selected and conceptualized for a given analysis.
Culture is pervasive, not simply the compressed set of empirical variables ...
Culture and Ethnicity The root concept for the term "ethnicity" is culture. Ethnicity
is a derivative concept that recognizes the in-group values conceptualized by a
particular cultural group, such as "Italian Americans" or "French Canadians.
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