Culture, "Madness" and Medicalization

University of Roehampton

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Culture, "Madness" and Medicalization

  • Host University

    University of Roehampton

  • Location

    London, England

  • Area of Study

    Anthropology, Psychology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • UK Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Assessment: essay (2000 words) [40%], presentation [10%], unseen exam (2 hours) [50%]

    This module provides a critical introduction to today’s dominant psychological/clinical practices such as psychoanalysis, bio-psychiatry, psychotherapy, counselling and clinical psychology. Drawing upon classic and more recent anthropological texts we question, for example, the extent to which mental disorders are culturally constructed artefacts rather than scientifically discovered biological entities; whether antidepressants are efficacious more for cultural than biological reasons; whether the Globalisation of Western mental health is having indigenous effects that are efficacious; whether psychoanalysis and anthropology can still fruitfully inform each other theoretically and methodologically; and whether the medicalization of Western emotional lives has fundamentally altered how we currently understand, manage and experience emotional suffering. In short, this module brings into sharp relief how anthropology can effectively deconstruct and inform Western psychological therapies in ways still unconsidered by many mental health professionals. We thus illustrate the usefulness of anthropology in illuminating how psychological/clinical practices are dramatically shaping contemporary subjectivities and wider socio/cultural life.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.