Culture and PTSD
Trauma in Global and Historical PerspectiveUniversity of Pennsylvania Press The Ethnography of Political Violence
Since the 1970s, understanding of the effects of trauma, including flashbacks and withdrawal, has become widespread in the United States. As a result Americans can now claim that the phrase posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is familiar even if the American Psychiatric Association's criteria for diagnosis are not. As embedded as these ideas now are in the American mindset, however, they are more widely applicable, this volume attempts to show, than is generally recognized. The essays in Culture and PTSD trace how trauma and its effects vary across historical and cultural contexts.
Culture and PTSD examines the applicability of PTSD to other cultural contexts and details local responses to trauma and the extent they vary from PTSD as defined in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Investigating responses in Peru, Indonesia, Haiti, and Native American communities as well as among combat veterans, domestic abuse victims, and adolescents, contributors attempt to address whether PTSD symptoms are present and, if so, whether they are a salient part of local responses to trauma. Moreover, the authors explore other important aspects of the local presentation and experience of trauma-related disorder, whether the Western concept of PTSD is known to lay members of society, and how the introduction of PTSD shapes local understandings and the course of trauma-related disorders.
By attempting to determine whether treatments developed for those suffering PTSD in American and European contexts are effective in global settings of violence or disaster, Culture and PTSD questions the efficacy of international responses that focus on trauma.
Contributors: Carmela Alcántara, Tom Ball, James K. Boehnlein, Naomi Breslau, Whitney Duncan, Byron J. Good, Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good, Jesse H. Grayman, Bridget M. Haas, Devon E. Hinton, Erica James, Janis H. Jenkins, Hanna Kienzler, Brandon Kohrt, Roberto Lewis-Fernández, Richard J. McNally, Theresa D. O'Nell, Duncan Pedersen, Nawaraj Upadhaya, Carol M. Worthman, Allan Young.
PART I. INTRODUCTION AND THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
Introduction. Culture, Trauma, and PTSD
—Byron J. Good and Devon E. Hinton
Chapter 1. The Culturally Sensitive Assessment of Trauma: Eleven Analytic Perspectives, a Typology of Errors, and the Multiplex Models of Distress Generation
—Devon E. Hinton and Byron J. Good
PART II. HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES
Chapter 2. Is PTSD a Transhistoric Phenomenon?
—Richard J. McNally
Chapter 3. What Is "PTSD"? The Heterogeneity Thesis
—Allan Young and Naomi Breslau
Chapter 4. From Shell Shock to PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury: A Historical Perspective on Responses to Combat Trauma
—James K. Boehnlein and Devon E. Hinton
PART III. CROSS-CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES
Chapter 5. Trauma in the Lifeworlds of Adolescents: Hard Luck and Trouble in the Land of Enchantment
—Janis H. Jenkins and Bridget M. Haas
Chapter 6. Gendered Trauma and Its Effects: Domestic Violence and PTSD in Oaxaca
Chapter 7. Exploring Pathways of Distress and Mental Disorders: The Case of the Highland Quechua Populations in the Peruvian Andes
—Duncan Pedersen and Hanna Kienzler
Chapter 8. Latinas' and Latinos' Risk for PTSD After Trauma Exposure: A Review of Sociocultural Explanations
—Carmela Alcántara and Roberto Lewis-Fernández
Chapter 9. Karma to Chromosomes: Studying the Biology of PTSD in a World of Culture
—Brandon A. Kohrt, Carol M. Worthman, and Nawaraj Upadhaya
Chapter 10. Square Pegs and Round Holes: Understanding Historical Trauma in Two Native American Communities
—Tom Ball and Theresa D. O'Nell
Chapter 11. Culture, Trauma, and the Social Life of PTSD in Haiti
Chapter 12. Is PTSD a "Good Enough" Concept for Postconflict Mental Health Care? Reflections on Work in Aceh, Indonesia
—Byron J. Good, Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good, and Jesse H. Grayman
List of Contributors
"This book should be compulsory reading for all civilian and military mission advisors and mentors."—Journal of Global South Studies
"Stress and trauma have become part of globalized languages of suffering and healing and the construct of PTSD is at the center of this discourse. The editors have brought together a stellar group of contributors who present historical and ethnographic studies that unpack some of the complexity of trauma response and PTSD to show the interplay of social contexts, cultural practices, and psychological processes. Culture and PTSD marks important advances in cultural psychiatry and will be richly rewarding for both researchers and mental health practitioners."—Laurence J. Kirmayer, McGill University
"Culture and PTSD is a wonderful, rich, exciting book that raises and sometimes answers critical questions at the juncture of anthropology and the interdisciplinary study of PTSD. It is a valuable volume that makes a significant contribution to the field."—Erin Finley, The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio