Nobody's Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness

Dai Wei Tsang's picture

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February 10, 2021
United States
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Cultural History / Studies, Social History / Studies, Social Work, Sociology

For centuries, scientists and society cast moral judgments on anyone deemed mentally ill, confining many to asylums. In Nobody’s Normal, anthropologist Roy Richard Grinker chronicles the progress and setbacks in the struggle against mental-illness stigma—from the eighteenth century, through America’s major wars, and into today’s high-tech economy.

Nobody’s Normal argues that stigma is a social process that can be explained through cultural history, a process that began the moment we defined mental illness, that we learn from within our communities, and that we ultimately have the power to change. Though the legacies of shame and secrecy are still with us today, Grinker writes that we are at the cusp of ending the marginalization of the mentally ill. In the twenty-first century, mental illnesses are fast becoming a more accepted and visible part of human diversity.

The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs Book Launch Series is proud to present a lecture by Dr. Grinker. RSVPs are now open through Eventbrite. The talk will be followed by a live Q&A with the audience moderated by fellow anthropologist, Sarah E. Wagner.

The event will be free, online, and open to the public. Registration will close at 5 pm EST on Tuesday, February 9. Links to join the webinar via WebEx will be sent out after registration is closed. The event recording will be shared with all whom RSVP.

Contact Info: 

Diane Tsang, Research Program Assistant

The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs

Contact Email: