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Making It CrazyAn Ethnography of Psychiatric Clients in an American Community$
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Sue Estroff

Print publication date: 1985

Print ISBN-13: 9780520054516

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520054516.001.0001

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Development of the Topic and Perspective

Development of the Topic and Perspective

Chapter:
(p.10) 2 Development of the Topic and Perspective
Source:
Making It Crazy
Author(s):

Sue E. Estroff

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520054516.003.0002

This book introduces the lives of forty-three people who participated in a community treatment program intended as an alternative to their psychiatric hospitalization. It also aims to discover their worlds and individual lives to gain a human, sociocultural understanding of psychiatric de- and non-institutionalization as practiced and experienced in culture. The lure of cultural anthropology has been its lack of restriction in subject matter combined with its human focus shot through with curiosity, the pursuit of commonsense understanding, and enthusiasm for variety, diversity, creativity, and underlying pattern. It would appear that psychiatric anthropology, rather than being an exotic subspeciality of cultural anthropology, represents a deeply traditional anthropological exercise. Fieldwork and intimate inter- and intrapersonal experience in the process of inquiry and understanding seem powerfully present in the psychiatric arena.

Keywords:   community treatment program, psychiatric hospitalization, cultural anthropology, psychiatric anthropology, fieldwork, inquiry

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