Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche Reprint Edition, Kindle Edition
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- Length: 324 pages
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
- Page Flip: Enabled
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B00321OR8K
- Publisher : Free Press; Reprint edition (December 26, 2009)
- Publication date : December 26, 2009
- Language : English
- File size : 523 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 324 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #324,375 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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The idea that western knowledge is influencing and trying to fit it's square peg into a round hole of global mental illness is a valid one that needs to be considered with care. If we approach all cultures with a superior and domineering attitude, we will be unable to help when we most want to. We will alienate the very people we seek to help. But Watters approaches this topic with the delicacy of a bull in a china shop labeling all western thought as unfit to help anywhere except in western countries. In fact, I would even say that he doesn't think that any good can come from mental health practitioners who are too self-serving and egocentric to see past their own ethos to actually heal.
I would approach this book with caution. Whatever valid arguments Watters might have had are smeared with so much derision and disgust that his message is no longer one of intelligence or a call for caution; it is propaganda.
He is able to keep his readers captivated by incorporating the stories of people who are inflicted with this disorder. He also allows the reader to see how the disorder progressed from having a cultural specific identity to being manipulated into an entirely new being. One of his first examples is that of anorexia in China, at first the reason behind the disorder was completely different from our own, that was until it became exposed to the population.
Which is where Watters introduces the concept of western technology and science. In his book he stakes the claim that because of the advanced science and technology possessed by the United States, leads to less economically stable countries to embrace ideas that are foreign to them without thinking how it will affect their cultural background. He proves this point several times in the book, whether it be the United States influencing the introduction of a mental illness to another country, or the use of data collected in the United States in order to push a new SSRI.
Watter’s takes a topic that is what some would call near and dear to individuals of the United States, as mental illness is becoming a more prominent issues, and showing how it is negatively affecting societies that have not been introduced to these ideas. Meaning that no these societies quite possible did have these disorders in their society but before the globalization of their symptoms and definitions they had an entirely different meaning. They became something new instead of what they had always been. The reader sees then when reading chapter three of schizophrenics in Africa, the disorder was always there just never given a name or symptoms addressed to it. Instead it was just a burden to bare from God. Which is where the reader gets to see how the society accepts and treats the disorder.
Watters book is very well constructed and easy to lose oneself in because of the stories he tells of others, and does not bog down the reading with countless studies done, or scholarly information that takes away from the meaning. If one is interested in anthropology, and medical studies this is definitely a book to read. It not only touches base with American culture, but several other cultures, and also gives the reader a taste of the medical aspects of the world. It also allows the reader to see a more in depth view of medical companies and how sometimes these companies are not out for the betterment of individuals; they are out for the betterment of their wallets. Watters took a unique topic and allowed the individuals stories speak for themselves on how globalization has left a devastating footprint on numerous societies; a footprint that some individuals may not be able to recover from.
Top reviews from other countries
As a mental health professional, working in a system dominated by the medical model, I find all too often, that the people I work with are reduced to individual victims of malfuctioning brain chemistry - their social world and how they represent mental distress can be seen as irrelevant. Watters provides an excellent example of how mental distress is embedded within a cultural, political and economic framework and especially how the powerful pharmaceutical industry can influence research and knowledge. How 'scientific' are our conceptualisations of mental distress and how much do we disempower people with unnecessary pathology?