Advertisement

Visual Psychological Anthropology: A Vignette and Prospectus

  • Robert Lemelson
  • Annie Tucker
Chapter
  • 309 Downloads
Part of the Culture, Mind, and Society book series (CMAS)

Abstract

The chapter proposes that ethnographic film can be a meaningful method in psychological anthropology, specifically recommending adapting the technique of person-centered ethnography to visual psychological anthropology (VPA). VPA can be used to create films that are character-focused, affective, and experience near, rendering internal and intersubjective worlds in a culturally contextualized manner. VPA can faithfully depict the subjective experience of mental illness specifically by de-emphasizing diagnosis and symptomatology in favor of emotion and character development. Calling upon the six-part Afflictions series, the first documentary series about mental illness in the developing world, as an example of VPA, the chapter introduces the films to be discussed throughout the book: The Bird Dancer, Kites and Monsters, Family Victim, Ritual Burdens, Memory of My Face, and Shadows and Illuminations.

Keywords

Psychological Anthropology Ethnographic Film Bird Dancer Mental Illness Lemelson 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association. 2013. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed. Washington, DC: Author.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Apley, Alice, and David, Tamés. 2005. Remembering John Marshall (1932–2005). New England Film. Retrieved from http://www.newenglandfilm.com/news/archives/05june/marshall.htm
  3. Becker, Anne. 1995. Body, Self, and Society: The View from Fiji. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  4. Biehl, João G., Byron J. Good, and Arthur Kleinman, eds. 2007. Subjectivity: Ethnographic Investigations, Ethnographic Studies in Subjectivity. Berkeley: University of California Press. https://doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520247925.001.0001
  5. Clifford, James, and George E. Marcus. 1986. Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  6. Connolly, Bob, and Robin, Anderson. 1983. First Contact. 54 min. Watertown: Documentary Educational Resources. http://www.der.org/films/first-contact.html
  7. Csordas, Thomas J. 2004. Asymptote of the Ineffable: Embodiment, Alterity, and the Theory of Religion. Current Anthropology 45 (2): 163–185. doi: 10.1086/381046 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Damasio, Antonio R. 1994. Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain. New York: G.P. Putnam.Google Scholar
  9. ———. 1999. The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness. New York: Harcourt Brace.Google Scholar
  10. ———. 2010. Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain. New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
  11. Desjarlais, Robert R., and C. Jason Throop. 2011. Phenomenological Approaches in Anthropology. Annual Review of Anthropology 40: 87–102. doi: 10.1086/381046 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Flaherty, Robert J. 1922. Nanook of the North. 1 hr, 19 min. Pathé Exchange.Google Scholar
  13. Foster, Susan Leigh. 2010. Choreographing Empathy: Kinesthesia in Performance. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Fuchs, Thomas. 2010. Phenomenology and Psychopathology. In Handbook of Phenomenology and Cognitive Science, ed. D. Schmicking and S. Gallagher. New York: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-90-481-2646-0_28 Google Scholar
  15. Good, Byron J. 2012. Theorizing the ‘Subject’ of Medical and Psychiatric Anthropology. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 18 (3): 515–535. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9655.2012.01774.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hollan, Douglas. 1997. The Relevance of Person-Centered Ethnography to Cross-Cultural Psychiatry. Transcultural Psychiatry 34 (2): 219–243. doi: 10.1177/136346159703400203 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Howes, Arthur. 2002. Benjamin and His Brother. 87 min. Watertown: Documentary Educational Resources. http://www.der.org/films/benjamin-and-his-brother.html
  18. Jenkins, Janis H. 2015. Extraordinary Conditions: Culture and Experience in Mental Illness. Oakland: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  19. Jenkins, Janis H., and Robert J. Barrett. 2004. Schizophrenia, Culture, and Subjectivity: The Edge of Experience, Cambridge Studies in Medical Anthropology. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Kirmayer, Laurence J., and Norman Sartorius. 2007. Cultural Models and Somatic Syndromes. Psychosomatic Medicine 69 (9): 832–840.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Kleinman, Arthur. 1980. Patients and Healers in the Context of Culture: An Exploration of the Borderland between Anthropology, Medicine, and Psychiatry. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  22. ———. 1986. Social Origins of Distress and Disease: Depression, Neuraasthenia, and Pain in Modern China. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Kleinman, Arthur, and Byron Good. 1985. Culture and Depression: Studies in the Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Psychiatry of Affect and Disorder. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  24. Kleinman, Arthur, Yunxiang Yan, Jing Jun, Sing Lee, Everett Zhang, Tianshu Pan, et al. 2011. Deep China: The Moral Life of the Person – What Anthropology and Psychiatry Tell Us About China Today. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  25. Lemelson, Robert. 2010–2011. Afflictions: Culture and Mental Illness in Indonesia Series. 182 min. Watertown: Documentary Educational Resources. http://www.der.org/films/afflictions.html
  26. ———. 2010a. The Bird Dancer. 40 min. Watertown: Documentary Educational Resources. http://www.der.org/films/bird-dancer.html
  27. ———. 2010b. Family Victim. 38 min. Watertown: Documentary Educational Resources. http://www.der.org/films/family-victim.html
  28. ———. 2010c. Shadows and Illuminations. 35 min. Watertown: Documentary Educational Resources. http://www.der.org/films/shadows-and-illuminations.html
  29. ———. 2011. Memory of My Face. 22 min. Watertown: Documentary Education Resources. http://www.der.org/films/memory-of-my-face.html
  30. Levy, Robert I. 1973. Tahitians: Mind and Experience in the Society Islands. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  31. Levy, Robert I., and Douglas Hollan. 1998. Person-Centered Interviewing and Observation. In Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology, ed. H.R. Bernard, 333–364. Lanham: Alta Mira Press.Google Scholar
  32. Lutz, Catherine. 1988. Unnatural Emotions: Everyday Sentiments on a Micronesian Atoll & Their Challenge to Western Theory. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  33. Marshall, John. 1962. A Joking Relationship. 13 min. Watertown: Documentary Educational Resources. http://www.der.org/films/joking-relationship.html
  34. ———. 1980. N!Ai, Story of A !Kung Woman. 59 min. Watertown: Documentary Educational Resources. http://www.der.org/films/nai-kung-woman.html
  35. Michaelis, Anthony. 1956. Research Films in Biology, Anthropology, Psychology and Medicine. New York: New York Academic Press.Google Scholar
  36. O’Nell, Theresa D. 1996. Disciplined Hearts: History, Identity, and Depression in an American Indian Community. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  37. Robbins, Joel. 2013. Beyond the Suffering Subject. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 19 (3): 447–462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Rosaldo, Renato. 1989. Grief and a Headhunter’s Rage. In Culture and Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis, 1–21. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  39. Sapir, Edward. 1958. Culture, Language and Personality: Selected Essays. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  40. Simons, Ronald C. 1982. Latah: A Culture-Specific Elaboration of the Startle Reflex. 38 min. Bloomington: Indiana University Audiovisual Center.Google Scholar
  41. ———. 2001. Introduction to Culture-Bound Syndromes. Psychiatric Times 18 (11): 283–292.Google Scholar
  42. Simons, Ronald C., and Charles C. Hughes. 1985. The Culture-Bound Syndromes: Folk Illnesses of Psychiatric and Anthropological Interest. Dordrecht: D. Reidel.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Taylor, Lucien. 1998. Visual Anthropology Is Dead, Long Live Visual Anthropology! [Book Review]. American Anthropologist 100 (2): 534–537. doi: 10.1525/aa.1998.100.2.534 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Willen, Sarah S., and Don Seeman. 2012. Introduction: Experience and Inquiétude. Ethos 40 (1): 1–23. doi: 10.1111/j.1548-1352.2011.01228.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. World Health Organization. 1973. Report of the International Pilot Study of Schizophrenia. Vol. 1. Geneva: Author.Google Scholar
  46. ———. 1979. Schizophrenia: An International Follow-up-Study. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  47. Worth, Sol, and John Adair. 1972. Through Navajo Eyes: An Exploration in Film Communication and Anthropology. 2nd ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Lemelson
    • 1
  • Annie Tucker
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations