Vita Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment

ISBN-10: 0520242785
ISBN-13: 9780520242784
Edition: 2005
List price: $31.95
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Description: Zones of social abandonment are emerging everywhere in Brazil's big cities--places like Vita, where the unwanted, the mentally ill, the sick, and the homeless are left to die. This haunting, unforgettable story centers on a young woman named  More...

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Book details

List price: $31.95
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 6/27/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 404
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.958
Language: English

Zones of social abandonment are emerging everywhere in Brazil's big cities--places like Vita, where the unwanted, the mentally ill, the sick, and the homeless are left to die. This haunting, unforgettable story centers on a young woman named Catarina, increasingly paralyzed and said to be mad, living out her time at Vita. Anthropologist Joao Biehl leads a detective-like journey to know Catarina; to unravel the cryptic, poetic words that are part of the "dictionary" she is compiling; and to trace the complex network of family, medicine, state, and economy in which her abandonment and pathology took form. As Biehl painstakingly relates Catarina's words to a vanished world and elucidates her condition, we learn of subjectivities unmade and remade under economic pressures, pharmaceuticals as moral technologies, a public common sense that lets the unsound and unproductive die, and anthropology's unique power to work through these juxtaposed fields. "Vita's methodological innovations, bold fieldwork, and rigorous social theory make it an essential reading for anyone who is grappling with how to understand the conditions of life, thought and ethics in the contemporary world.

Introduction: "Dead alive, dead outside, alive inside"
Vita
A Zone of Social Abandonment
Brazil
Citizenship
Catarina and the Alphabet
Life of the Mind
Society of Bodies
Inequality
Ex-Human
The House and the Animal
"Love is the illusion of the abandoned"
Social Psychosis
An Illness of Time
God, Sex, and Agency
The Medical Archive
Public Psychiatry
Her Life as a Typical Patient
Democratization and the Right to Health
Economic Change and Mental Suffering
Medical Science
End of a Life
Voices
Care and Exclusion
Migration and Model Policies
Women, Poverty, and Social Death
"I am like this because of life"
The Sense of Symptoms
Pharmaceutical Being
The Family
Ties
Ataxia
Her House
Brothers
Children, In-Laws, and the Ex-Husband
Adoptive Parents
"To want my body as a medication, my body"
Everyday Violence
Biology and Ethics
Pain
Human Rights
Value Systems
Gene Expression and Social Abandonment
Family Tree
A Genetic Population
A Lost Chance
The Dictionary
"Underneath was this, which I do not attempt to name"
Conclusion: "A way to the words"
Postscript: "I am part of the origins, not just of language, but of people"
Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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