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Behrouzan, Orkideh (2015) 'Writing Prozāk Diaries in Tehran: Generational Anomie and Psychiatric Subjectivities.' Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry., 39 (3). pp. 399-426.

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I explore the historical and cultural shifts that underlie the normalization of the term de´pre´shen and the emergence of public psychiatric discourses in 1990s Iran. I do this by investigating the cultural sensibilities of a particular generation, the self-identified 1980s generation, and the ways they situate what is perceived as de´pre´shen in social anomie and the memories of the Iran–Iraq war. I argue that psychiatrization of psychological distress in Iran was not simply a de-politicizing hegemonic biomedical discourse, but that the contemporary Iranian discourses of psychological pathology and social loss evolved in public, hand-in-hand, through the medicalization of post-war loss. Psychiatric subjectivity describes conditions where individuals internalize psychiatry as a mode of thinking, and performatively articulate not only their desires, hopes, and anxieties, but also historical losses as embodied in individual and collective brains. I underscore my interlocutors’ simultaneous historicization and medicalization of their de´pre´shen, arguing that psychiatrically medicalized individuals are performative actors in the discursive formation of both biomedical and social truth. De´pre´shen, in the larger sense of the word, has become one way to navigate ruptured pasts, slippery presents, and uncertain futures.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Anthropology & Sociology
ISSN: 0165005X
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2018 13:32

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