Advertisement

Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 821–839 | Cite as

Enveloping Mothers, Enveloped Sons: Positions in Chinese Family Therapy

  • Wenrui Chen
Original Paper
  • 95 Downloads

Abstract

The increasing acceptance and use of psychotherapy in contemporary China powerfully attests to the “psychologization” of Chinese society. Yet attending therapy is only one aspect of psychologization. Analyzing the practice of therapy through case examples illuminates the broader sociocultural context of China’s “psycho-boom.” This includes insight into what I term an expansive-I notion of personhood. This non-singular notion of personhood is a major challenge for Chinese therapists. Therapists’ attempts to resolve clients’ problems by reorienting them according to psychological ideals highlight the multiple, at times contradictory relationships between psychotherapy, the state and families.

Keywords

Cross-cultural psychotherapy Personhood Family Post-reform China Governmentality 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Author Wenrui Chen declares that she has no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Ames, Roger T, Dissanayake, Wimal, & Kasulis, Thomas P. (1994). Self as person in Asian theory and practice: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bakhtin, Mikhail M. 1981 The dialogic imagination: Four essays by MM Bakhtin (M. Holquist, Ed.); C. Emerson and M. Holquist, trans. Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  3. Dean, Mitchell. (1999). Governmentality : power and rule in modern society. London; Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  4. Donzelot, Jacques. (1979). The policing of families (1st Amrican ed.). New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
  5. Eghigian, Greg. (2004). The Psychologization of the Socialist Self: East German Forensic Psychology and its Deviants, 1945—1975. German History, 22(2), 181-205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fong, Vanessa L. (2002). China’s One-Child Policy and the Empowerment of Urban Daughters. American anthropologist, 104(4), 1098-1109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fong, Vanessa L. (2004). Filial nationalism among Chinese teenagers with global identities. American Ethnologist, 31(4), 631-648.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Foucault, M. (2010). The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France, 19781979. Picador, New York.Google Scholar
  9. Foucault, Michel. (1977). Discipline and punish : the birth of the prison (1st American ed.). New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
  10. Foucault, Michel, and Lagrange, Jacques. (2006). Psychiatric Power : Lectures at the Collège de France, 1973-74. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  11. Foucault, Michel, Senellart, Michel, Ewald, François, & Fontana, Alessandro. (2007). Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977-78. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  12. Greenhalgh, Susan. (2008). Just one child : science and policy in Deng’s China. Berkeley: University of California Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Harris, G.G. (1989). Concepts of individual, self, and person in description and analysis. American anthropologist, 91(3), 599-612.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hatton, Celia 2013 New China Law Says Children ‘Must Visit Parents’. BBC News. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-23124345.
  15. Hsiung, Ping-chen. (2007). A tender voyage: Children and childhood in late imperial China: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Jacka, T. (2009). Cultivating citizens: Suzhi (quality) discourse in the PRC. positions, 17(3), 523-535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jankowiak, William 1992 Father-child relations in urban China. In: Father-Child Relations: Cultural and Biosocial Contexts, pp. 345–363.Google Scholar
  18. Kipnis, Andrew. (2006). Suzhi: A keyword approach. The China Quarterly, 186, 295-313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kleinman, Arthur. (2010). Remaking the moral person in China: implications for health. The Lancet, 375(9720), 1074-1075.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kuan, Teresa. (2011). “ The Heart Says One Thing but the Hand Does Another”: A Story about Emotion-Work, Ambivalence and Popular Advice for Parents. The China Journal 65: 77–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kuan, Teresa. (2015). Love’s Uncertainty: The Politics and Ethics of Child Rearing in Contemporary China. California, Univ of California Press.Google Scholar
  22. Mann, Susan. (2007). The talented women of the Zhang family. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  23. Matza, Tomas. (2009). Moscow’s echo: Technologies of the self, publics, and politics on the Russian talk show. Cultural Anthropology, 24(3), 489-522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Miller, Peter, Gordon, Colin, Burchell, Graham, & Foucault, Michel. (1991). The Foucault effect : studies in governmentality : with two lectures by and an interview with Michel Foucault. London: Harvester Wheatsheaf.Google Scholar
  25. Moxley, Mitch 2010 China’s Youngsters Rebel Against ‘Authoritarian’ Parenting. Irrawaddy. http://www2.irrawaddy.com/article.php?art_id=19080&page=1
  26. Nichols, Michael P., Schwartz, Richard C., and Minuchin, Salvador 2004 Family Therapy: Concepts and Methods.Google Scholar
  27. Phillips, Tom 2016 China Universities must Become Communist Party ‘Strongholds’, Says Xi Jinping. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/09/china-universities-must-become-communist-party-strongholds-says-xi-jinping
  28. Rasheed, Mikal Nazir. (2010). Family Therapy: Models and Techniques. Sage, Thousand Oaks.Google Scholar
  29. Rose, N. (1998). Inventing Our Selves: Psychology, Power, and Personhood. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Rose, Nikolas S. (1990). Governing the soul : the shaping of the private self. London; New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  31. Rose, Nikolas S., & Miller, Peter. (1986). The Power of psychiatry. Cambridge, New York, NY, USA: Polity Press; Blackwell.Google Scholar
  32. Skultans, Vieda. (2004). Authority, dialogue and polyphony in psychiatric consultations: A Latvian case study. Transcultural Psychiatry, 41(3), 337-359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Strathern, M. (1990). The Gender of the Gift: Problems with Women and Problems with Society in Melanesia, Vol. 6. University of California Press, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  34. Tan, Charlene. (2012). Learning from Shanghai: Lessons on Achieving Educational Success, vol. 21. Springer, Springer.Google Scholar
  35. Weinstein, Deborah. (2013). The Pathological Family: Postwar America and the Rise of Family Therapy. Ithaca, Cornell University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wolf, Margery. (1972). Women and the family in rural Taiwan. Stanford, Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Wu, David Y.H. 1994 Self and Collectivity: Socialization in Chinese Preschools. Self as Person in Asian Theory and Practice, 235–250.Google Scholar
  38. Wu, Zhihong. (2016). 巨婴国 The Country of ‘Giant Babies’: A Domestic Psychologist Examining the Chinese National Character. China: Zhejiang People’s Publishing House.Google Scholar
  39. Yan, Y. (2010). The Chinese path to individualization. The British journal of sociology, 61(3), 489-512.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Yang, Jie 2013a “Fake Happiness”: Counseling, Potentiality, and Psycho-Politics in China. Ethos 41(3): 292–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Yang, Jie. 2013b Peiliao: Gender, Psychologization, and Psychological Labor in China. Social Analysis 57(2): 41–58.Google Scholar
  42. Yang, Mayfair Mei-hui ed. 1999 From Gender Erasure to Gender Difference: State Feminism, Consumer Sexuality, and Women’s Public Sphere in China.Google Scholar
  43. Zhang, Li. (2012). In Search of Paradise: Middle-Class Living in a Chinese Metropolis. Ithaca, Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Zhang, Li. (2014). Bentuhua: Culturing Psychotherapy in Postsocialist China. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, 38(2), 283-305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Zito, Angela. (1993). Ritualizing Li: implications for studying power and gender. positions, 1(2), 321-348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Zito, Angela. (1997). Of Body and Brush: Grand Sacrifice as Text/Performance in Eighteenth-Century China. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The New SchoolIndia China InstituteNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations