João Guilherme Biehl is Susan Dod Brown Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University, Biehl has written two books in English: Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment (University of California Press ) and Will to Live: AIDS. Biehl, Joao (). Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment. University of California Press. Vita is an experience that grows more meaningful. João Biehl’s Vita brilliantly and originally integrates these seemingly separate domains. Vita ensnares the reader in Brazil’s intricate web of entrenched social.

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It will change your brains. Alyssa Robinson rated it really liked it Dec 13, Sep 25, Amy rated it it was amazing.

Anna rated it liked it Oct 19, My favorite ethnography this year, Biehl’s person-centered ethnography is historical, political and personal. It is a must read. I was at times uncomfortable with how things went but it demonstrates the messiness of fieldwork and ethics. Biehl is the co-editor of “When People Come First: These books are ethnographic studies of the experience and treatment of mental illness and AIDS, respectively.

Erica rated it really liked it Mar 18, In recent years, Biehl authored Vita: A series of Catarina’s writing from to constitutes the last part of Biehl’s study, “The Dictionary.

Lists with This Book. Retrieved from ” https: It makes you question how is it that we cast away our own family simply because they are “different. Thanks for telling us about the problem. His point is not always entirely clear.

I bieyl I am super biased because cultural anthropology was what I studied during college, but this is mind-blowing. Oct 13, Nutsa rated it it was amazing. Its highly involved, and yet claims to be observational. Had to walk away from niehl book in amazement many times, either to cry or to talk about it with the person nearest me. Best depiction of subaltern agency I’ve ever read easy. He has also hiehl a guest lecturer at more than 50 different universities around the world.


Meredith Carrel rated it liked it May 23, This haunting, unforgettable story centers on a young woman named Catarina, increasingly paralyzed and said to be mad, living out her time at Vita.

Both Vita and Will to Live explore new geographies of access and marginalization that have emerged alongside pharmaceutical globalization. Contact Contact Us Help.

Vita by João Biehl – Paperback – University of California Press

He has also written 4 books in Portuguese: Absolutely one of best ethnographies I’ve ever read. Keenan rated it it was amazing Sep 19, Want to Read saving…. For all its problems, I think this book is a beautiful combination of narrative, ethnographic detail, archival research, and scholarship.

Staley Prize School for Advanced Research His ethnographic research focuses on domestic crimes and the jooao of kinship ties in that region.

I recognize its problems. Biehl masterfully sculpts the story of Catarina’s life through his passion to find answers and through his substitution of the common terminology with powerfully fresh terms such as “social death” and “ex-human.

Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment

Dec 30, Meghan rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Jan 07, Laura added it. He earned a doctorate in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley and a doctorate in Religion from the Graduate Theological Union He specializes in medical anthropologyand his interests include social studies of science and religion, psychological anthropology, globalization and development, global health, ethnographic methods, critical theory, and Brazilian and Latin American societies.

BUT this book is fucking worth it anyway.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Published June 27th by University of California Press first published Racheal Adair rated it liked it Aug 06, Moreover, Biehl’s criterion for including only certain portions of her dictionary in the last section remains unclear.


I also think he does a fantastic job of tracing what forces affected Catarina’s life and how multiple parties influenced and altered the course of life. Bieho could have been strengthened however with the inclusion of the quotes, [End Page ] interviews and Catarina’s writings in Portuguese.

If navel gazing is the opposite of informed research, then this is the other opposite of navel gazing. This book really opens your eyes to people like Catarina and makes you think about our societies. Biehl writes so beautifully that one can almost forget that he is actively personifying and vitq meaning to the actions of a very mentally ill person.

João Biehl – Wikipedia

The fourth part, “Family,” details Beihl’s encounters and conversations with Catarina’s immediate and extended family in Novo Hamburgo. Considering Vita “the end-station on the road of poverty; […] where living beings go when they are no longer considered people” 2he examines life in Vita as a death catalyst for its occupants due to the ill-equipped staff, medical misdiagnoses, lack of funds and inadequate infrastructure.

Kenyu rated it really liked it Jul 07, Views Read Edit View history. I know this is definitely not a pleasure read nor will my review ultimately convince anyone to read a heavy ethnographic account of the mental health industry in Brazilian society. Kristen Ghodsee rated it really liked it Aug 02, Part I of this study, “Vita,” gives a brief background on the “deinstitutionalization” of the mentally ill in the nineties in Porto Alegre, thus shifting “the burden of care from state institutions to the family and communities”