Aliens and Alienists

Ethnic Minorities and Psychiatry

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In this extensively revised edition of a highly influential work, the authors assess the psychological consequences of migration and prejudice for groups as diverse as West Indians, Turkish Cypriots and Hasidic Jews. Combining the theoretical pers

In this extensively revised edition of a highly influential work, the authors assess the psychological consequences of migration and prejudice for groups as diverse as West Indians, Turkish Cypriots and Hasidic Jews. Combining the theoretical perspectives of psychiatry and social anthropology, they examine the epidemiology of mental ill health among ethnic minorities and black Britons, and conclude that mental illness can be an intelligible response to disadvantage and prejudice. The new concluding chapter to this standard text reviews the development of transcultural psychiatry in Britain and summarizes recent changes in the administration of the Mental Health Act. The authors illustrate how the racist bias that exists in psychiatric theory and diagnosis has resulted in inadequate and poorly-researched treatment of patients from ethnic minorities, and argue that endemic prejudices should be examined and challenged by professionals engaged in treating and caring for the mentally ill.

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