Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 376–395 | Cite as

Rational Love, Relational Medicine: Psychiatry and the Accumulation of Precarious Kinship

  • Sarah PintoEmail author


In north Indian psychiatry, clinical attentions to women’s symptoms often involve scrutiny of emotions related to marriage and its breakdown. In pharmaceutically oriented practice, relations are used to evaluate biologies, and drugs produce the truth about relations at the same time that they produce the truth about bodies. In the process, clinical practice often involves unmaking relations, generating loss, in certain instances, as a dire result. In this, a particular kind of clinical knowing emerges, engaging broad cultural and historical connections between love and madness more than definitions of right and wrong unions. In asking how disciplinary and relational modes of biomedicine converge, I argue that in north Indian psychiatry’s attentions to women, rather than enforcing normative configurations of “the family,” biomedicine grapples with the gendered fallout of kinship.


Psychiatry Kinship Gender India Pharmaceuticals Marriage 



Parts of this research were generously funded by a Faculty Research Award from Tufts University. Many thanks to Lucinda Ramberg, Robert Desjarlais, Richard Delacy, Amahl Bishara, Jonathan Anjaria, and Brandy Shillace for insightful and helpful readings, and to the people mentioned in this paper who let me into their lives.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyTufts UniversityMedfordUSA

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