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Culture and reality1

  • Edmund Leach (a1)
Extract

I only met Sir Aubrey Lewis on one occasion and that was in passing. Most of what little I know of his career is derived from the admirable biographical account which Professor Michael Shepherd provided in his Adolf Meyer Lecture delivered to the American Psychiatric Association in 1976 (Shepherd, 1977). But that little is reassuring. Aubrey Lewis clearly took a catholic view of the scope of the field of psychiatry, for at the age of 25 he was combining the study of psychological medicine with anthropological research among the Australian Aborigines! I cannot myself claim this kind of many-sided expertise and, knowing little or nothing about the language or theory or practice of psychiatry, I foresee a problem of communication which calls for the establishment of a frame of discourse.

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2Address for correspondence: Professor Sir Edmund Leach, The Provost's Lodge, King's College, Cambridge CB2 1ST.
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1

Based on the 5th Aubrey Lewis lecture, delivered at the Institute of Psychiatry in November 1977.

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References
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Blakemore, C. (1977). Mechanics of the Mind, p. 173. Cambridge University Press: London.
Bonfanti, L. (1971). The Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692. New England Historical Series Pp. 12726. Pride Publications: Wakefield, Mass.
British Journal of Psychiatry (1977). The Royal College of Psychiatrists' memorandum on the use of Electroconvulsive Therapy, 131, 261272.
Engels, F. (1884). Preface to First Edition of The Origin of the Family. Zurich.
Frazer, J. G. (1911). The Golden Bough (3rd edn). Part 1 The Magic Art and the Evolution of Kings volume 1, chapters 6 and 7. Macmillan: London.
Lewis, A. (1953). Health as a social concept. British Journal of Sociology 4, 109124.
Lewis, A. (1961). Agents of Cultural Advance. Hohhouse Memorial Lecture, no. 30. Oxford University Press: London.
Murphy, J. M. (1976). Psychiatric labelling in cross-cultural perspective. Science 191, 10191028.
Shepherd, M. (1977). The Career and Contributions of Sir Aubrey Lewis. Bethlem Royal and Maudsley Hospitals: London.
Trivers, R. L. (1971). The evolution of reciprocal altruism. Quarterly Review of Biology 46 (4), 3537.
Wilson, E. O. (1975). Sociobiology: The New Synthesis. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Mass.
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Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
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