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Views & Reviews Medical Classics

Rethinking Psychiatry

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 08 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3516
  1. Piyush Pushkar, CT2 anaesthesia trainee in the Mersey Deanery
  1. piyushpushkar{at}

The author of Rethinking Psychiatry: From Cultural Category to Personal Experience, Arthur Kleinman, is a psychiatrist and anthropologist at Harvard University. In this tome he uses his academic knowledge and experience to muse on the conflicts between his disciplines and between the medical and social sciences in general. More importantly, he considers what the subjects can gain from one another, and he gives his own ideas of how this could happen practically.

He compares the methods employed by academics in each discipline, exposing their biases. Anthropologists are inclined to see the differences between cultures and …

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