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Edinburgh Centre for Medical Anthropology: Events


Footpath Pharmacists in North India

Footpath Pharmacists in North India
Speaker: Professor William Sax # Heidelberg SI
Hosted by
Introduced by
Date and Time
17th Mar 2016 16:00 - 17th Mar 2016 17:30
Seminar Room 5, Chrystal Macmillan Building, George Square, Edinburgh

Seminar co-hosted by the Centre of South Asian Studies and the Edinburgh Centre for Medical Anthropology 


In Defense of the "Culture-Bound Syndrome": footpath pharmacists,
semen loss and all dhat
The notion of the "culture-bound syndrome" (CBS) has been criticized
on multiple grounds.   But it can be argued that for those who wish to
contest the biological reductionism of much contemporary psychiatry,
the CBS is precisely what is needed, since it emphasizes the cultural
particularity of mental disorders.  In this talk, I respond to the
critiques of CBS, show that one of its classical avatars (the dhat
syndrome) is alive and well in North India, and argue that the cures
provided by the "footpath pharmacists" of Pakistan, north India, and
Bangladesh may be more appropriate than those provided by standard
Edinburgh Students