The North African syndrome
Madness and colonization
in Frantz Fanon, postcolonialism and the ethics of difference
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Chapter 4 focuses the discussion on Fanon’s critique of the complicity of medicine and psychiatry with the institution of colonialism. This chapter contextualizes what tend to be neglected elements of Fanon’s work and relates them to his clinical practice in illuminating ways. This chapter shows that madness and what Fanon dubs the ‘North African syndrome’ were nothing but manifestations of colonial assimilation and the attendant violence to which it gave rise as it brought about the pulverization of traditional society. The chapter ascertains how the medical establishment was employed as the instrument of coloniality and how psychiatry was implicated in the alienation of the colonized Algerians.


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