Accepted Paper:

What we missed: institutions and community care in psychiatry (Czech Republic)  


Lydie Fialova (Edinburgh University)

Paper short abstract:

Transformation of Psychiatry from institutionalized to community care occurred in different periods and has been supported by different discourses in the Western and Central/Eastern Europe (1970´, 1990´ resp.). This paper aims to analyze the presuppositions, conditions and actual outcomes of these reforms, based on ethnographic and comparative historical research.

Paper long abstract:

The era of late state socialism in Central/Eastern Europe has been described as a time of a timeless (V. Havel), whose history might be written in terms of what has not happened in comparison to what has happened in the West. The paper examines "what has not happened" in transformation of Psychiatry from institutional to community care. Unlike in the West, where de-institutionalization began in 1960´ partially as a result of criticism of social control role of Psychiatry by leftist intellectuals and anti-psychiatry movement, in C/E Europe this reform has been proposed since 1990´ as a way of dealing with the legacy of the past in the form of institutionalized social exclusion through newly established NGOs, as well as a proof of adherence to human rights by the state - necessary condition for accession of the EU. The paper aims to compare the presumptions, conditions, and actual outcomes of these movements in different social contexts, based ethnographic fieldwork conducted in the Czech Republic and comparative historical research of respective reforms in other Western and Central/Europe countries.

Panel W095
East looks West and West looks East - mutual constructions of anthropology