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  • Bad Souls: Madness and Responsibility in Modern Greece

    Author(s): Elizabeth Anne Davis
    Published: 2012
    Pages: 344
    Illustrations: 5 photos, 1 map
  • Paperback: $25.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-5106-1
  • Cloth: $94.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-5093-4
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  • Note on Orthography and Pronunciation  vii
    Acknowledgments  ix
    Introduction  1
    Prelude: The Spirit of Synchronization  21
    Part 1. False Face  51
    Interlude. The Jewel of Greece  113
    Part 2. Strangers  117
    Interlude: The Persians  183
    Part 3. A System in Doubt of Freedom  187
    Reprise: Diagnosis  239
    Postlude: A Peaceful Place  247
    Notes  257
    Bibliography  301
    Index  319
  • “A brief review cannot begin to do justice to the rich, complex argumentation and moving testimonies of this book. It offers a roller-coaster ride between thick description and agile and historically contextualized theorizing, between fl ashes of hope and the dull echo of irremediable despair and frustration, and between high ideals and messy experience. Bad Souls is one of those rare ethnographic accounts of Greece that can teach us why so politically and economically marginal a country offers such rich insights into
    the operations of power. . . .” — Michael Herzfeld, Journal of Anthropological Research

    Reviews

  • “A brief review cannot begin to do justice to the rich, complex argumentation and moving testimonies of this book. It offers a roller-coaster ride between thick description and agile and historically contextualized theorizing, between fl ashes of hope and the dull echo of irremediable despair and frustration, and between high ideals and messy experience. Bad Souls is one of those rare ethnographic accounts of Greece that can teach us why so politically and economically marginal a country offers such rich insights into
    the operations of power. . . .” — Michael Herzfeld, Journal of Anthropological Research

  • "Bad Souls is a remarkable study of psychiatry in northern Greece. From the intimacy of the therapeutic encounter to the impersonality of state bureaucracy, Elizabeth Anne Davis describes the way neoliberal assumptions have led to the often divergent reformulations of the psychiatric. A brilliant book."—Vincent Crapanzano, author of The Harkis: The Wound That Never Heals

    "How to write a history of madness and a genealogy of ethics at the borders of Europe's psyche and within the complex confines of neoliberalism's demand that subjects govern themselves? Poetic in form and writing without ever loosening its grip of argument and analysis, Bad Souls is a searing ethnographic account of how mental health, Greek nationalism, and contemporary truth emerge in the fraught fault line between patients' struggles to maintain their minds and psychiatry’s struggle to maintain its therapeutic and diagnostic hold on the order of truth in the domain of the other."—Elizabeth A. Povinelli, author of Economies of Abandonment: Social Belonging and Endurance in Late Liberalism

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  • Description

    Bad Souls is an ethnographic study of responsibility among psychiatric patients and their caregivers in Thrace, the northeastern borderland of Greece. Elizabeth Anne Davis examines responsibility in this rural region through the lens of national psychiatric reform, a process designed to shift treatment from custodial hospitals to outpatient settings. Challenged to help care for themselves, patients struggled to function in communities that often seemed as much sources of mental pathology as sites of refuge. Davis documents these patients' singular experience of community, and their ambivalent aspirations to health, as they grappled with new forms of autonomy and dependency introduced by psychiatric reform. Planned, funded, and overseen largely by the European Union, this "democratic experiment," one of many reforms adopted by Greece since its accession to the EU in the early 1980s, has led Greek citizens to question the state and its administration of human rights, social welfare, and education. Exploring the therapeutic dynamics of diagnosis, persuasion, healing, and failure in Greek psychiatry, Davis traces the terrains of truth, culture, and freedom that emerge from this questioning of the state at the borders of Europe.

    About The Author(s)

    Elizabeth Anne Davis is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology, in association with Hellenic Studies, at Princeton University.

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