Plaidoyer pour une autre psychiatrie-la psychiatrie anthropophagique

Translated title of the contribution: Advocacy for another psychiatry - The anthropophagic psychiatry

Daniele Zullino, Rodolphe Soulignac, Judit Harangozo, Benedetto Saraceno

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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In "Tristes Tropiques", Claude Lévi-Strauss juxtaposes so-called cannibalistic and anthropoemic societies. According to his conception, anthropoemia is said to describe the rejection of particular individuals deemed undesirable by society, which tends to "expel these formidable beings from the body public by isolating them for a time, or for ever, denying them all contact with humanity, in establishments devised for that express purpose". In contrast, cannibalism aims to "neutralize people who are the repositories of certain redoubtable powers, and even to turn them to one's own advantage, ... to absorb them into one's own body". When faced with the repositories of redoubtable powers, there are thus said to be three possible attitudes. They include, namely, (1) Anthropoemia, referring to rejection outside of society, (2) Encapsulating cannibalism, whereby society incorporates the wielders of redoubtable powers and neutralizes them, and (3) Assimilating cannibalism, in which society harnesses these frightful powers, thereby incorporating them into its own, in order to employ them in society's striving for success. This article aims to make observations in terms of how psychiatric institutions operate when viewed through the prism of the aforementioned classification. The first phase of psychiatric history-the asylum phase-may be considered to be in line with the anthropoemic attitude, marked by rejection of the insane and refusal of their presence for the duration of their insanity. From the second half of the 20th century onward, dissenting movements drove the world of psychiatry to reorient itself toward an alternative solution. It was in this manner that the cannibalistic approach was adopted. Assimilating cannibalistic psychiatry presents a different notion of insanity, deviance, and society at large. Contrary to the two other approaches, it acknowledges the place of deviants and their particular role within society. As an underlying postulate, it presumes that any deviation from a norm may potentially yield an opportunity for development.

Translated title of the contributionAdvocacy for another psychiatry - The anthropophagic psychiatry
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)184-187
Number of pages4
JournalSwiss Archives of Neurology, Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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