The Pastoral Clinic

The Pastoral Clinic

Angela Garcia’s book The Pastoral Clinic examines addiction and treatment in the Española Valley of northern New Mexico. She argues that it is impossible to understand the experience of Hispano heroin addicts in this area without understanding the history of how the Hispano people have been dispossessed of their land during the many years since 1848 when New Mexico became a part of the United States.

Please write a 5-7 page paper giving an account of the ways in which an understanding of dispossession, and the political and socio-economic inequalities which are its result, can help us to make sense of the experiences of addiction and treatment described in The Pastoral Clinic. How does Garcia use concepts like “melancholia”, the “endlessness of suffering”, and/or other psychological concepts to explain the relationship between addiction and dispossession?

How does an appreciation of dispossession’s role help Garcia to assess the possibilities and limitations involved in drug treatment? What is the “ethics of care” that Garcia describes at work between co-addicts, and between care workers and addicts? How does drug treatment in the area change after Clinton-era reforms to mental health care? What innovations in treatment does Garcia find when she returns to the clinic? How might these innovations begin to address the role that dispossession plays in the lives of Hispano addicts?

Support your arguments with evidence from the book.

Use citations that include page #s from the text.

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The Pastoral Clinic


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