Advertisement

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
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Psychiatry Kinship Gender India Pharmaceuticals Marriage 

Notes

Acknowledgments

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.

References

  1. Addlakha, Renu 2008 Deconstructing Mental Illness: An Ethnography of Psychiatry, Women and the Family. New Delhi: Zubaan.Google Scholar
  2. Anjaria, Ulka and Jonathan Shapiro Anjaria. 2008 Text, Genre, Society: Hindi Youth Films and Postcolonial Desire. South Asian Popular Culture, 6:2, 125-140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barthes, Roland. 1978 A Lover’s Discourse. Richard Howard, trans. New York: Hill and Wang.Google Scholar
  4. Biehl, Joao. 2005 Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  5. Butler, Judith. 2002 Antigone’s Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Carstairs, G. M. 1967 [1957] The Twice-Born: A Study of a Community of High-Caste Hindus. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Cohen, Lawrence 2007 Song for Pushkin. Daedalus. Spring 103-115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Corin, Ellen, Rangaswami Thara, and Ramachandran Padmavati 2004 Living Through a Staggering World: The Play of Signifiers in Early Psychosis in South India. In Schizophrenia, Culture, and Subjectivity: The Edge of Experience. Janis Hunter Jenkins and Robert John Barrett, eds. Pp. 110-145. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Das, Veena, and Renu Addlakha 2007 Disability and Domestic Citizenship. In Disability in Local and Global Worlds. Benedicte Ingstad and Susan Reynolds Whyte, eds. Pp. 128-148. Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  10. Davar, Bhargavi V. 1999 Mental Health of Indian Women: A Feminist Agenda. New Delhi: Sage.Google Scholar
  11. Dhanda, Amita 2000 Legal Order and Mental Disorder. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  12. Ecks, Stefan 2005 Pharmaceutical Citizenship: Antidepressant Marketing and the Promise of Demarginalization in India. Anthropology & Medicine 12(3):239–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Foucault, Michel. 1990 History of Sexuality, Volume 1. Robert Hurley, trans. New York: Vintage Press.Google Scholar
  14. Foucault, Michel 2003 Psychiatric Power: Lectures at the College de France 1973-1974. Graham Burchell, trans. New York: Picador.Google Scholar
  15. Freed, Ruth S., and Stanley A. Freed 1964 Spirit Possession as Illness in a North Indian Village. Ethnology Vol. 3, No. 2. Pp. 152-171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Freed, Ruth S., and Stanley A. Freed 1985 The Psychomedical Case History of a Low-Caste Woman of North India. Anthropological papers of the American Museum of Natural History 60(2):101-228.Google Scholar
  17. Hartnack, Christiane 1999 Vishnu on Freud’s Desk: Psychoanalysis in Colonial India. In Vishnu on Freud’s Desk: A Reader in Psychoanalysis and Hinduism. T.G. Vaidyanathan and Jeffrey J. Kripal, eds., pp. 81–106. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Jain, Sumeet, Sushrut Jadhav (2009) Pills that Swallow Policy: Clinical Ethnography of a Community Mental Health Program in Northern India. Transcultural Psychiatry 46: 60-85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jenkins, Janis. 2004 Schizophrenia as a Paradigm Case for Understanding Fundamental Human Processes. In Schizophrenia, Culture and Subjectivity: The Edge of Experience. Janis Jenkins and Robert Barrett, ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Kakar, Sudhir 1978 The Inner World: A Psycho-analytic Study of Childhood and Society in India. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Kurtz, Stanley M. 1992 All the Mothers Are One: Hindu India and the Cultural Reshaping of Psychoanalysis. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Luhrmann, Tanya. 2000 Of Two Minds: The Growing Disorder in American Psychiatry. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.Google Scholar
  23. Martin, Emily. 2007. Bipolar Expeditions: Mania and Depression in American Culture. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Nandy, Ashis 1983 The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of Self Under Colonialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Nandy, Ashis 1995 The Savage Freud and Other Essays on Possible and Retrievable Selves. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Petryna, Adriana 2009 When Experiments Travel: Clinical Trials and the Global Search for Human Subjects. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Povinelli, Elizabeth 2006 Empire of Love: Toward a Theory of Intimacy, Genealogy, and Carnality. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Roberts, Elizabeth (2007) Extra Embryos: The Ethics of Cryopreservation in Ecuador and Elsewhere. American Ethnologist 34(1): 181–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Strathern, Marilyn. 2005 Kinship, Law and the Unexpected: Relatives are Always a Surprise. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Thara, R., Shanta Kamath, and Shuba Kumar 2003 Women with Schizophrenia and Broken Marriages: Doubly Disadvantaged. International Journal of Social Psychiatry 49(3): 225-232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wagner, Roy 1975 The Invention of Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyTufts UniversityMedfordUSA

Personalised recommendations