"The City Is My Mother": Narratives of Schizophrenia and Homelessness:

Anne M. Lovell

Recent narrative analysis in medical anthropology provides keys to both the personal meaning of illness and the historical, cultural, and institutional shaping of that experience. Yet Western psychiatric thinking and practice continue to view schizophrenic discourse as closed to interpretation. Caught in this "closed text," the self would seem obliterated. But using narratives of schizophrenia and homelessness, this essay proposes a different understanding of schizophrenic alterity. The openness of the text-as-experience is re-created collectively, from outside the subject's narration: the subject's "self is construction through the added perspectives of his or her interlocutors in the role of storymakers.