Ambiguous states of mind and crises in their management: imaginative approaches to the self and emotions in four postindustrial societies
Agita Luse (Riga Stradiņš University)
Livia Velpry and Katerina Ferkov
Arts Classhall A
Start time:
27 August, 2010 at 11:30
Session slots:


The workshop brings together representatives of medical, political and feminist anthropology to discuss trends, recently observed in four postindustrial societies, in dealing with the states of mind and feeling that occupy the borderland between the routinely familiar and the worryingly uncertain, the ordinary and the idiosyncratic. Traditionally, some of the reported states have been framed as symptoms of the individual's mental abnormality and delegated to psychiatry for treatment. Others have more readily clashed with politico-ideological expectations and/or been subject to moral critique. Five ethnographic studies from Canada, Denmark, France, and Latvia, however, document the ways in which a number of such ambiguous modes of perception and feeling are currently being redefined. The conventional approaches to them undergo a crisis and are challenged by more imaginative solutions that seek to balance (at times conflicting) values of authenticity of feeling and meaningful communication with the others.