Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche

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Free Press, Mar 22, 2011 - Psychology - 320 pages
“A blistering and truly original work of reporting and analysis, uncovering America’s role in homogenizing how the world defines wellness and healing” (Po Bronson).

In Crazy Like Us, Ethan Watters reveals that the most devastating consequence of the spread of American culture has not been our golden arches or our bomb craters but our bulldozing of the human psyche itself: We are in the process of homogenizing the way the world goes mad.

It is well known that American culture is a dominant force at home and abroad; our exportation of everything from movies to junk food is a well-documented phenomenon. But is it possible America's most troubling impact on the globalizing world has yet to be accounted for?

American-style depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anorexia have begun to spread around the world like contagions, and the virus is us. Traveling from Hong Kong to Sri Lanka to Zanzibar to Japan, acclaimed journalist Ethan Watters witnesses firsthand how Western healers often steamroll indigenous expressions of mental health and madness and replace them with our own. In teaching the rest of the world to think like us, we have been homogenizing the way the world goes mad.

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User Review  - ImperfectCJ - LibraryThing

The idea is that diagnostic criteria for mental illnesses are neither static nor universal. They change with time and by culture. By applying the DSM globally, the United States is influencing how ... Read full review

CRAZY LIKE US: The Globalization of the American Psyche

User Review  - Kirkus

Americans may not be any more deranged than anyone else on the planet—but, says pop social scientist Watters (Urban Tribes: A Generation Redefines Friendship, Family, and Commitment, 2003, etc.), we ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Ethan Watters is the author of Urban Tribes, an examination of the mores of the "never-marrieds," and the coauthor of Making Monsters, a groundbreaking indictment of the recovered memory movement. A frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine, Discover, Men's Journal, Wired, and This American Life, he lives in San Francisco with his wife and children.

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