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Resounding echoes from afar: defamiliarizing psychology in India

Mills, China and Kumar, Manasi (2014) Resounding echoes from afar: defamiliarizing psychology in India.

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Abstract

Written from two different locations, two different continents, this paper reflects the authors? political and social engagement with the issue of normalization of oppression, and medicalization of distress and social suffering, as seen in particular practices of psychology and psychiatry in India; a sub-continent in which neither authors are currently located. The paper reflects a shared concern about the mobilization of certain kinds of oppression as ?normal?, as normalised; oppression that remains ungrieved for; oppression in the guise of help and liberation; oppression of women by women, and by men; oppression through medicalization of the idioms of distress. The paper in this sense offers a re-reading of why psychology practiced through western-centered or uncritical, apolitical lenses, is fated to generate scholarship that glosses over political struggles, multiplicities and complexities, cracks and edges. Bypassing the imposition of a linear narrative, this paper, as a disjointed performative space, encourages a deconstructive reading; a reading ?in between?, an ?in between? reading; both of the paper, of psychology, and of the socio-political scenario in which psychology and psychiatry in India are put to work. The paper is part of conceptualizing a shared project of de-centering and de-familiarizing psychology and psychiatry, and how they are currently thought and practised in particular contexts, within the contours of complex social structures in India.

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