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Lectures

Mapping Algorithmic Assumptions: Reflections from a Society for Psychological Anthropology roundtable

This article is part of the following series:

Fritz Kahn, Der Mensch als Industriepalast, 1926. Detail. Image in public domain

Introduction: surveil, classify and predict
by Alexa Hagerty and Livia Garofalo

The works distilled by the authors and the discussion offered by Professor Emily Martin presented here were originally part of a roundtable at the Society for Psychological Anthropology 2021 biannual meeting. They seek to map the algorithmic …

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Lectures

Craving to be heard but not seen – Chatbots, care and the encoded global psyche

This article is part of the following series:

Mounica Tata, Doodleodrama

“How are you today?” Wysa starts the conversation. 

“Not well,” I reply. 

“Sounds like today didn’t go well. I’m here for you. Describe how you’re feeling right now.” 

“I’m feeling sad because I can’t see many of my relatives and friends at the moment due to corona restrictions. I’m also worried about the health of elderly …

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Books

A Response Letter

Dear Interlocutors:

I am too inspired by the letter form to communicate directly with you all, as Tomas has done. I find this format more intimate, candid, and effective.

As I write this response, the world is deep in the frightening pandemic as COVID-19 infection and death cases continue to climb rapidly. Even though the vaccines are on the way, …

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Books

The Empty Hearts and Kinship Correlates of China’s Psy Fever

In her new book Anxious China, Li Zhang documents the rise of “psy fever” in the 21st-century China, as manifested in the widespread use of psychotherapeutic knowledge and techniques by the country’s middle-class citizens to understand and remake themselves. Traversing diverse spaces ranging from clinics to companies, from universities to militaries, Zhang shows us that psychotherapies, though imported from …

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Books

The Ambivalent Tactics of Therapeutic Governing

Li Zhang has captured a fascinating moment in the social and political transformation of psychotherapy in China. There is much to say about this exquisite book. While grounded in the particularities of postsocialist China, Zhang situates her analysis in dialogue with much broader questions relating to globalization, governmentality, and grassroots practices. Her book will undoubtedly stimulate rich dialogue with scholars …

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Books

Self-Exploration in the Age of Digital Surveillance

In reading this exquisitely beautiful book by Li Zhang, on the emergence of a new psychotherapeutic space in China, I was deeply struck by her notion of the “inner revolution.” This is an evocative term that not only points to the fundamental revolutions that the Chinese state has gone through over the course of a century, but also the ways …

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