Empathy and Healing: Essays in Medical and Narrative Anthropology

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For more than three decades the author has been concerned with issues to do with emotion, suffering and healing. This volume presents ethnographic studies of South Wales, Maharashtra and post-Soviet Latvia connected by a theoretical interest in healing, emotion and subjectivity. Exploring the uses of narrative in the shaping of memory, autobiography and illness and its connections with the master narratives of history and culture, it focuses on the post-Soviet clinic as an arena in which the contradictions of a liberal economy are translated into a medical language.

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"Arguably, Vieda Skultans is the most prominent contemporary Latvian social anthropologist...One of the best assets of this book is its introduction. In its 15 lucid and condensed pages, Skultans summarizes her intellectual journey and contextualizes the articles presented in the collection, thus providing readers with a highly efficient guide to the themes that hold the book together." · Journal of Baltic Studies

"If anthropologists want to attend to wider audiences and adjoining disciplinary perspectives, this book is an inspiring example of how anthropology can be both challenged and enriched by such dialogue. Few have managed this with Skultans's dexterity or determination." · JRAI

"This volume brings together for the first time many of Skultans's important, even ground-breaking essays on psychiatry, religion and culture. It is a gift for those of us working in the field." · Tanya Luhrmann, University of Chicago

About the Author:

Vieda Skultans is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Bristol. Her previous publications include The Testimony of Lives: Narrative and Memory in post-Soviet Latvia (Routledge, 1998).

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