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Trauma and humanitarian translation in Liberia: the tale of open mole.
Cult Med Psychiatry. 2010 Jun; 34(2):353-79.CM

Abstract

The focus of this paper is the intercultural process through which Open Mole and trauma-related mental illnesses are brought together in the postconflict mental health encounter. In this paper, I explore the historical dimension of this process by reviewing the history of Open Mole, and the ways in which it has been interpreted, acted on, and objectified by external observers over the last half-century. Moving into Liberia's recent war and postconflict period, I examine the process by which Open Mole is transformed from a culture-bound disorder into a local idiom of trauma, and how it has become a gateway diagnosis of PTSD-related mental illnesses, and consider how it is produced as an objectified experience of psychiatric disorder in clinical humanitarian contexts. By studying how Open Mole is transformed in the humanitarian encounter, I address the structure and teleology of the humanitarian encounter and challenge some of the foundational assumptions about cultural sensitivity and community-based mental health care in postconflict settings that are prevalent in scholarship and practice today.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Anthropology, Harvard University, William James Hall No. 302, 33 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. saabramowitz@gmail.com

Pub Type(s)

Case Reports
Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

20401629

Citation

Abramowitz, Sharon Alane. "Trauma and Humanitarian Translation in Liberia: the Tale of Open Mole." Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, vol. 34, no. 2, 2010, pp. 353-79.
Abramowitz SA. Trauma and humanitarian translation in Liberia: the tale of open mole. Cult Med Psychiatry. 2010;34(2):353-79.
Abramowitz, S. A. (2010). Trauma and humanitarian translation in Liberia: the tale of open mole. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, 34(2), 353-79. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11013-010-9172-0
Abramowitz SA. Trauma and Humanitarian Translation in Liberia: the Tale of Open Mole. Cult Med Psychiatry. 2010;34(2):353-79. PubMed PMID: 20401629.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Trauma and humanitarian translation in Liberia: the tale of open mole. A1 - Abramowitz,Sharon Alane, PY - 2010/4/20/entrez PY - 2010/4/20/pubmed PY - 2010/9/3/medline SP - 353 EP - 79 JF - Culture, medicine and psychiatry JO - Cult Med Psychiatry VL - 34 IS - 2 N2 - The focus of this paper is the intercultural process through which Open Mole and trauma-related mental illnesses are brought together in the postconflict mental health encounter. In this paper, I explore the historical dimension of this process by reviewing the history of Open Mole, and the ways in which it has been interpreted, acted on, and objectified by external observers over the last half-century. Moving into Liberia's recent war and postconflict period, I examine the process by which Open Mole is transformed from a culture-bound disorder into a local idiom of trauma, and how it has become a gateway diagnosis of PTSD-related mental illnesses, and consider how it is produced as an objectified experience of psychiatric disorder in clinical humanitarian contexts. By studying how Open Mole is transformed in the humanitarian encounter, I address the structure and teleology of the humanitarian encounter and challenge some of the foundational assumptions about cultural sensitivity and community-based mental health care in postconflict settings that are prevalent in scholarship and practice today. SN - 1573-076X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/20401629/Trauma_and_humanitarian_translation_in_Liberia:_the_tale_of_open_mole_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1007/s11013-010-9172-0 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -