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The life of the undead: Biopower, Latino anxiety and the epidemiological paradox

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This article studies the dense interconnections between biopower, psychoanalysis, psychology and theories of Latino/a health and disease in the context of the ubiquitous claim heard nowadays regarding the so-called inevitable early twenty-first-century Latinization of the United States. How do we, the author asks, understand the theories of Latino/a health, disease, normality and pathology emerging out of epidemiological research on Latino/as and out of the professional psychotherapeutic literature on Latino/as within the broader interpretive horizon of US biopolitical practices that both manage and incite life? This paper explores this question by paying specific attention to the diagnosis of “anxiety” in the psychotherapeutic literature on Latino/as and to the conundrum in epidemiological research on Latino/a health referred to as the “epidemiological paradox.”
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Keywords: Hispanic psychology; Lacanian psychoanalytic theory; Latino/a psychology; Latino/a studies; Latino/as; US biopolitics; anxiety; biopower; depression; disease; epidemiology; gender; health; heterosexualization; hysteria; power; psychotherapy; sexuality; somatization; the unconscious; “Latino epidemiological paradox”; “race science”

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Literature and Romance Studies, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

Publication date: 2009-07-01

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