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Revenge of the Windigo : The Construction of the Mind and Mental Health of North American Aboriginal Peoples - James B. Waldram

Revenge of the Windigo

The Construction of the Mind and Mental Health of North American Aboriginal Peoples

Paperback Published: 23rd April 2004
ISBN: 9780802086006
Number Of Pages: 428

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What is known about Aboriginal mental health and mental illness, and on what basis is this 'knowing' assumed? This question, while appearing simple, leads to a tangled web of theory, method, and data rife with conceptual problems, shaky assumptions, and inappropriate generalizations. It is also the central question of James Waldram's "Revenge of the Windigo."

This erudite and highly articulate work is about the knowledge of Aboriginal mental health: who generates it; how it is generated and communicated; and what has been ? and continues to be ? its implications for Aboriginal peoples. To better understand how this knowledge emerged, James Waldram undertakes an exhaustive examination of three disciplines ? anthropology, psychology, and psychiatry ? and reveals how together they have constructed a gravely distorted portrait of 'the Aboriginal.'

Waldram continues this acute examination under two general themes. The first focuses on how culture as a concept has been theorized and operationalized in the study of Aboriginal mental health. The second seeks to elucidate the contribution that Aboriginal peoples have inadvertently made to theoretical and methodological developments in the three fields under discussion, primarily as subjects for research and sources of data. It is Waldram's assertion that, despite the enormous amount of research undertaken on Aboriginal peoples, researchers have mostly failed to comprehend the meaning of contemporary Aboriginality for mental health and illness, preferring instead the reflection of their own scientific lens as the only means to properly observe, measure, assess, and treat.

Using interdisciplinary methods, the author critically assesses the enormous amount of information that has been generated on Aboriginal mental health, deconstructs it, and through this exercise, provides guidance for a new vein of research.

Industry Reviews

"'There is no other book available that so comprehensively, critically, and lucidly explores this subject matter.' Naomi Adelson, Department of Anthropology, York University; 'For this type of book to really work beyond the level of simplistic postmodern deconstruction, it needed to be written by someone with a great deal of first hand experience and a first class analytical mind. James Waldram is one of the top scholars in the field. I would place this study as the very best of its kind that I have read over thirty years. As scholarship, it is simply superb - comprehensive, indeed, virtually exhaustive. The references are nearly encyclopedic.' Peter Stephenson, Department of Anthropology, University of Victoria"

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introduction: Monsters and Mental Healthp. 3
Themes and Influencesp. 8
Plan of the Bookp. 14
Terminologyp. 16
About the Titlep. 17
Conclusionp. 18
Constructing the Aboriginal
Constructing Aboriginal Personality: The Early Yearsp. 21
Ruth Benedict and the Boasian Traditionp. 22
The Emergence of Psychoanalytical Anthropology and the Search for the Indians' 'Basic Personality Structure'p. 27
The Indian Education Research Projectp. 29
Conclusionp. 42
The Psychoanalyst's Aboriginalp. 44
Anthropology and the Rorschach: No Experience Requiredp. 44
The Generation of Aboriginal Personality Portraitsp. 48
Atomism and the Northern Indianp. 55
Persistence of the Rorschachp. 60
Conclusionp. 67
Measuring the Aboriginalp. 69
Acculturation and the Conceptualization of Aboriginalityp. 69
Measuring Aboriginal Cultural Orientationp. 76
Measuring Aboriginal Personality: The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventoryp. 84
The Confusion of Race and Culture in the Measurement of Aboriginal Intelligencep. 89
Constructing the Aboriginal Variablep. 95
Conclusionp. 101
The Disordered Aboriginal
The Construction of Aboriginal Psychopathologyp. 105
'Latent Schizophrenics and Primitive People': Early Studies of Psychopathologyp. 105
Marginality and the 'Caught-Between-Two-Worlds' Paradigmp. 114
Acculturative Stressp. 118
Community-Based Epidemiological Studiesp. 124
Conclusionp. 133
The Alcoholic Aboriginalp. 134
The Biologically Susceptible Aboriginalp. 135
The How and Why of Aboriginal Drinkingp. 142
Indian Drinking and White Man Drinkingp. 157
Emerging Epidemiological Issuesp. 161
Conclusionp. 165
The Depressed Aboriginalp. 167
Conceptualizing Depression and Suicidep. 168
Measuring and Treating Aboriginal Depression and Suicidep. 176
An Ethnographic Approach to the Study of Aboriginal Depressionp. 185
Conclusionp. 188
The Culture-Bound Aboriginalp. 190
The Culture-Bound Syndromesp. 190
Windigo Psychosisp. 192
Pibloktoqp. 195
Ghost Sicknessp. 199
Why the Culture-Bound Syndromes Persistp. 203
Conclusionp. 211
The Traumatized Aboriginalp. 212
Conceptualizing Trauma and PTSDp. 212
Trauma and Aboriginal Peoplesp. 215
Historic, Cultural, and Collective Traumap. 221
Trauma and the Construction of 'Residential School Syndrome'p. 228
Conclusionp. 234
Treating the Aboriginal
The Clinician's Aboriginalp. 239
The Anthropological Roots of Aboriginal Values Researchp. 239
The Psychologist's Approach to Aboriginal Valuesp. 243
Delineating the Ethics, Values, and Behaviours of the Aboriginalp. 249
Essentializing the Aboriginal/Non-Aboriginal Dichotomyp. 256
Values and Treatmentp. 259
Conclusionp. 269
Healing the Traditional Aboriginalp. 271
Aboriginal Theories of Mental Health and Illnessp. 272
The Holistic Aboriginalp. 275
Re-opening the Mind/Body Debatep. 278
The Use of Culture and Tradition in Treatmentp. 286
Defining 'Traditional Aboriginal Healing'p. 294
Conclusionp. 298
Conclusion: The Windigo's Revengep. 300
Disturbed, Disordered, and Dysfunctionalp. 301
Problems of Culture and Historyp. 306
Defining the Aboriginalp. 312
Contemporary Aboriginal Cultural Realities: Creolization and Beyondp. 316
Notesp. 321
Referencesp. 335
Indexp. 393
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780802086006
ISBN-10: 0802086004
Series: Anthropological Horizons
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 428
Published: 23rd April 2004
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Country of Publication: CA
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.4  x 3.0
Weight (kg): 0.64
Edition Number: 2

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