Everyone in modern multicultural societies is now working in some capacity with 'cultural others' and in this larger sense this book is a book for anyone and everyone interested in these questions... Maitra and Krause want to ensure that questions about race and culture and madness can be sustained despite the barrage of answers (not least from their respective disciplines of psychiatry and anthropology); or at least that the links between culture and madness can provoke questions and not only easy (i.e. anxious) answers. And so it is not incidental that this book, whatever else it is, is full of wonderful questions, and questions about questions.
Maitra and Britt Krause get culture as a process. Their volume gives a confident, authoritative, performed, nuanced and inviting account of how culture influences the expression and management of emotional distress, suffering and care through relationships. Readers are greeted by elegant vignettes, Socratic provocations, video materials, and some practical exercises. It is hard to not live the experience and want to share it with others.
This book and accompanying film are a precious resource. Maitra and Krause are gifted, not only with sharp intellect and clinical acumen, but also an ability to explain complex ideas with clarity. There is a real dearth of well written and clinically relevant literature tackling the subject of culture and mental health with such subtlety and depth. This is a must read for all mental health professionals.
This book is at the hub of discourses on cultures, families and responses to mental ill health. At the confluence of these discourses, the authors create a wide delta of understanding. In their authoritative interpretations of facts and arguments, they keep a fine balance between information and persuasion. They reveal contexts that are mutable, fluid, intricate and organic in nature, and practices that can generate dignity, far removed from mechanical categorisations. The book invites the reader to know deeply, and to wonder with confidence at the shapes and trajectories of working with difference. Here being different is not a black and white barrier, but a gateway to life in colour. A vivacious text, for students and clinicians.
This is a most remarkable and useful book - most instructive and readable. It offers a complete engagement with its subject matter through reading but also watching and hearing (of the accompanying film). Written with competence, in an accessible and respectful way, it offers unique insights into the complexities of culture and mental illness. Despite its focus on the current UK realities, its value transcends these boundaries. In the plethora of literature that tends either to trivialise these themes with slogans or obscure them with academic obfuscation, this book stands out with its soundness, participatory learning and clarity. It has all the qualities of becoming a classic.