American Culture and Mental Illness

Dr. Liah Greenfeld is University Professor and Professor of Sociology, Anthropology, and Political Science at Boston University.

The United States, the world’s freest and most open society, is the nation with the highest rates of severe mental disease, such as schizophrenia and manic depression, and these rates are increasing. In her new book, Mind, Modernity, and Madness: The Impact of Culture on Human Experience (Harvard University Press, 2013), Liah Greenfeld discusses the ways in which American culture, specifically our values of liberty and equality, contribute to this grave public health problem, and suggests what can be done to solve it, without giving up these values.

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