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Frantz Fanon, Postcolonialism and the Ethics of Difference$
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Azzedine Haddour

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780719075230

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526140814

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The North African syndrome: madness and colonization

The North African syndrome: madness and colonization

(p.123) 4 The North African syndrome: madness and colonization
Frantz Fanon, Postcolonialism and the Ethics of Difference

Azzedine Haddour

Manchester University Press

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.

Keywords:   ethnopsychiatry, psychiatry, Orientalism, madness, alienation, Islam, medicine, torture, assimilation, expropriation

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