Thursday, December 30, 2010

Globalization of Mental Health

WBUR journalist Robin Young's recent conversation with fellow journalist Ethan Watters examines some subtle but important aspects of globalization. In his book Crazy Like Us, he describes a number of interesting and unexpected ways in which U.S.  mental-health frameworks interact with other ways of thinking about the mind.

Near the end of the interview, Watters says, "We should be sharing our notions of knowledge of the mind with the rest of the world, but we should be careful in doing that we do not trample local notions of the mind that may be helpful.... We cannot stop globalization; we cannot redraw those boundaries."

Like me, in other words, he does not aspire to put the genie of globalization back in the proverbial bottle. Rather, he is pursuing a nuanced understanding of some of its implications.

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