Author:Jimena Carrasco (Universidade Austral do Chile)
Paper short abstract:
Since the middle of the 20th century, a series of movements contesting traditional psychiatry. We explore actions of the movement regarding its political aspects, to analyse elements of the psychiatric reform processes in Brazil and Chile and discuss the concept of freedom in these practices.
Paper long abstract:
Since the middle of the 20th century, a series of movements contesting traditional psychiatry have come into being in many European and American countries. These movements usually undertake an essentially political analysis, questioning the asylum, as well as the asymmetry of power relations.
These processes are usually celebrated as true "revolutions" that liberated "madness" from the shackles of old psychiatry. There is an abundance of great historical narratives in an almost epic or hagiographic style.
It is not our objective to question the general guideline of these movements, but to analyse their specific devices in relation to the implied modes of government according to Foucault and Rose concepts. In this way we hope to support more precise actions of the movement regarding its political aspects, especially given the similarities between some of their practices and those present in certain liberal practices. To achieve this objective, we will first study the concept of governmentality, introduced by Foucault in the end of the 70s, with special emphasis on the techniques of liberal governments. This concept allows us to understand the transformation of the ways of "conduct of conduct" of those considered to be mentally ill, since the times of old psychiatry until the reformist modes, in a more direct way. Then we will use this approach to analyse certain elements of the psychiatric reform processes in Brazil and Chile. In the conclusion we will discuss the concept of freedom in these practices, opening the space to discuss new formulations.
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