By Elizabeth Anne Davis
Bad Souls is an ethnographic research of accountability between psychiatric sufferers and their caregivers in Thrace, the northeastern borderland of Greece.
Elizabeth Anne Davis examines accountability during this rural sector during the lens of nationwide psychiatric reform, a procedure designed to shift therapy from custodial hospitals to outpatient settings. Challenged to aid take care of themselves, sufferers struggled to operate in groups that frequently appeared as a lot resources of psychological pathology as websites of safe haven.
Davis files those patients' singular adventure of neighborhood, and their ambivalent aspirations to overall healthiness, as they grappled with new types of autonomy and dependency brought by way of psychiatric reform. deliberate, funded, and overseen principally by means of the eu Union, this "democratic experiment," one of the reforms followed by way of Greece on account that its accession to the ecu within the early Eighties, has led Greek voters to question the country and its management of human rights, social welfare, and schooling.
Exploring the healing dynamics of analysis, persuasion, therapeutic, and failure in Greek psychiatry, Davis strains the terrains of fact, tradition, and freedom that emerge from this wondering of the kingdom on the borders of Europe.
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Extra resources for Bad Souls: Madness and Responsibility in Modern Greece
It is also true that, in most cases, a cost-benefit analysis of these measures happens only in retrospect, in the context of a spirit of synchronization disposed to justify each effort that distances itself from traditional conceptions of how to cope with mental illness. Thus changes are often made without any prior analysis of the existing realities in each country or region, by passively transposing organizational schemas that operate in other societies and cultural circumstances, with the effect not only of not improving the approach to mental illness, but also of undermining the basic principles that ideologically support the new systems of provision for psychiatric services.
The previous several years, during which psychiatrists had conducted the early research on reform, constituted a period of evaluation and preparation for accession. 16 Reform thus acquired the peculiar temporality of synchronization from the very beginning; failures would, from that point onward, acquire the import of the state’s failure to keep up. In its more generic, international narrative, psychiatric reform appears as a universalizable technology of the state: a set of policies, institutions, and practices whose place in the history of law and governance can be found in the global expansion of human rights and policies of social welfare in the twentieth century.
Yiannoula was sitting on her stoop with a loaf of bread when we arrived and rose awkwardly to greet us. She was in her fifties but looked decades older: wizened, toothless, with thinning white hair. But she had a cheery, girlish air as she gamely invited us inside. In the vocabulary of psychiatric reform, Yiannoula’s house was a “natural environment”—a place of her own “in the community,” instead of a custodial institution. Her place had two rooms, one on either side of a small foyer. A kitchenette with a gas burner and sink was wedged into the back of her bedroom.