Bad Souls: Madness and Responsibility in Modern Greece by Elizabeth Anne Davis

By Elizabeth Anne Davis

Bad Souls is an ethnographic research of accountability between psychiatric sufferers and their caregivers in Thrace, the northeastern borderland of Greece.

Elizabeth Anne Davis examines accountability during this rural quarter in the course of the lens of nationwide psychiatric reform, a method designed to shift remedy from custodial hospitals to outpatient settings. Challenged to aid take care of themselves, sufferers struggled to operate in groups that frequently appeared as a lot assets of psychological pathology as websites of shelter.

Davis records those patients' singular adventure of neighborhood, and their ambivalent aspirations to future health, as they grappled with new types of autonomy and dependency brought through psychiatric reform. deliberate, funded, and overseen mostly via the ecu Union, this "democratic experiment," one of the reforms followed by way of Greece on the grounds that its accession to the european within the early Nineteen Eighties, has led Greek voters to question the kingdom and its management of human rights, social welfare, and schooling.

Exploring the healing dynamics of prognosis, persuasion, therapeutic, and failure in Greek psychiatry, Davis lines the terrains of fact, tradition, and freedom that emerge from this wondering of the kingdom on the borders of Europe.

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38 thE spiRit oF synchRonization 35 The five-year plan, it turned out, proved overly ambitious. 40 The report of 1988, in which the extension was approved and recommendations were made for the evaluation committee, noted: “It would be advisable for such assistance to assume a more systematic form following the pattern set recently by certain provisions applying to other Community interventions. ”41 Delays in reform were attributed in this way to the managerial disorganization and instrumental irrationality of Greek medical experts and administrators who, despite this reprimand, continued to miss important targets and deadlines.

This ostensible lag is not, however, a matter only of the comparative development of national political economies according to a global scale. In the field of psychiatry itself, the clinical encounter—the scene 32 pREluDE of treatment—bears the same relationship to risk management that Greece bears to France. 30 If this type of activity is what uniquely constitutes “the new,” then it is happening elsewhere. So when psychiatrists in Thrace remarked, as I often heard, that Greek psychiatry was “backward” or “behind” (πίσω), they were indicating a double deficit: one in the standard of psychiatric care, and another in the state of society.

This room contained her only window, as well as the coal stove that choked the house with smoke and engraved its surfaces with soot. No electricity, no bathroom. Her sparse furniture stood low to the ground; the bedroom ceiling sagged over the stove, let- The new General Regional University Hospital of Alexandroupolis (back view), 2010. Courtesy of Dimitris Korfiotis ting chunks of tinny insulation onto the floor from the exposed rafters. Roula, the team’s social worker, checked my reaction. In the villages you see a lot of houses like this, she said.

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