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to fully account for understanding the relationship between culture, ethnicity and schizophrenia. People whose cultural upbringing has normalized their externalisation of distress manifest a higher likelihood to be diagnosed with positive symptoms, which in turn, leads to a higher likelihood for a diagnosis of schizophrenia. This assumes, therefore, that the learned cultural signifiers directly impact not only on how first rank and negative symptoms are expressed, but also on how they are interpreted in dyadic inter-cultural clinical interactions. Black ethnicities more often seem to have a shared social adaptation where distress is outwardly expressed and patterned with their world view. White or Asian ethnicities more often express their distress by inwardly associating their own patterns to self destruction patterns or psychosomatization rather than by engaging with the outward social spheres. I will not claim that I have found all the answers to this long and withstanding debate but have certainly come to the conclusion that the only way that we can start understanding schizophrenia is when we start decoding cultural differences and by qualitatively exploring in more profundity, the relationship between patient and clinician. We need to start with observational techniques, ethnographic methodologies and a more profound analysis of the dyadic interactions between patients and practitioners. It is time for anthropology and sociology to set foot in our definitions of schizophrenia both cross-culturally and inter-culturally because at this point in time, epidemiological studies have ceased to provide fruitful explanations. Let us approach it from a dual micro and macro perspective and start looking at dyadic cross-cultural interactions by focusing on the processes of communication between patients and 278

Profile for Huda Shalhoub

DECODING SCHIZOPHRENIA ACROSS CULTURES  

Thesis from Brunnel University, United Kingdom, London

DECODING SCHIZOPHRENIA ACROSS CULTURES  

Thesis from Brunnel University, United Kingdom, London

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