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Psychiatry, bioepistemes and the making of adolescence in Southern Brazil: Psiquiatria, bioepistemes e a formação da adolescência no sul do Brasil

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-153
Number of pages22
JournalHistória, Ciencias, Saúde. Manguinhos
Volume23
Issue number1
PublishedJan 2016

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Abstract

Drawing on an ethnographic study in southern Brazil, this paper explores how therapists’ attempts to “resist bioreductionist” pharmaceutical use both succeed and crumble. Using a comparative framing, I show that pharmaceuticalization can become an anesthetizing “lid” that interacts with young people’s polarizing micro-politics and is an outgrowth of multi-generational medico-political family histories. This lid, however, is not air-tight and exceptionalities are born out of these very same histories. I argue that both pharmaceuticalization and exceptions to it emerge not through “resistance” to biopsychiatric logics but from the transformative possibilities that the patterned co-production of social, political, and psychiatric life affords.

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