Arthur Kleinman, M.D.

Professor of Medical Anthropology; Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor of Anthropology
  • 617/495-3846

Kleinman’s numerous publications have included works on medical anthropology, social suffering, mental health, stigma, subjectivity, moral experience, and caregiving. Most recently, he co-edited a textbook on global health (Reimagining Global Health: An Introduction. 2013, UC Press), a book on subjectivity in China with his former students (Deep China. 2012, UC Press), and a book on moral life in China (Governance of Life in Chinese Moral Experience. 2011, Routledge). He is the author of What Really Matters: Living a Moral Life Amidst Uncertainty and Danger (OUP, 2006), Writing at the Margin: Discourse between Anthropology and Medicine (UC Press, 1995), and The Illness Narratives: Suffering. Healing and the Human Condition (Basic Books, 1988), amongst others. He has also co-edited books on culture and depression; SARS in China; world mental health; suicide; placebos; and AIDS in China.

Kleinman is currently writing a book on caregiving, as well as co-editing a book on social suffering and social theory, and volumes on Culture of Mental Illness and Psychiatry in Africa, and The Ground Between: Anthropologists Engaging Philosophy. He is the author of articles in The Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine on caregiving as moral experience; global mental health; values in health; reforming medical education via the medical humanities; the search for wisdom; and on culture, bereavement and psychiatry. He has co-authored articles on stigma and mental illness; on the appropriate uses of culture in clinical practice; and on medical anthropology. 

His current projects include a comparative study of eldercare for dementia in six Asian settings; an ethnographic study of trust in the doctor-patient relationship in China; planning for a major meeting on global mental health services delivery; and development of Southeast Asia studies at Harvard.

Kleinman is professor of medical anthropology in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He is the Esther and Sidney Rabb professor of anthropology in the Department of Anthropology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), and was appointed the Victor and William Fung director of Harvard University’s Asia Center in 2008. In 2011, Arthur Kleinman was appointed as a Harvard College Professor and received the 2011 Harvard Foundation Distinguished Faculty Award. He chaired the then Department of Social Medicine at HMS from 1990 until 2000, where from 1993-2001 he was the Presley Professor of social medicine, and chaired the Department of Anthropology at Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences from 2004 to 2007.

Kleinman was the lead convener of an NSF-supported international conference on avian flu in December 2006 and of a conference on values in global health in May 2007. In addition, he formerly co-chaired the Global Health Committee in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, of which he remains a member. He also co-teaches a general education course on global health. In the Department of Anthropology, he directs the Medical Anthropology Program, which he founded in 1982 and through which more than 85 students have so far received a PhD (including 17 MD-PhDs). He has mentored 200 post-doctoral fellows and hundreds of undergraduate and medical students. He has delivered the William James Lecture twice at Harvard; Magisterial Lecture at the University of Milan; Institut Lecture at the Institut Pasteur in Paris; Hume Lecture at Yale; Tanner Lectures at Stanford, and has twice given the Distinguished Scholar Lecture at NIH. Kleinman is a former member of the Advisory Council of the Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, and of NIH’s Council of Councils. He has been a fellow of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies since 1983, and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1992. He is also a Distinguished Life Time Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He has received an honorary doctor of science degree from York University (Canada); the Doubleday Award University of Manchester (UK); the Franz Boas award, the highest award of the American Anthropological Association; and the Welcome Medal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (UK). 

  1. Becker AE, Kleinman A. Mental health and the global agenda. October 3, 2013. The New England journal of medicine.

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  2. Becker AE, Kleinman A. Mental health and the global agenda. July 4, 2013. The New England journal of medicine.

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  3. Kleinman A. From illness as culture to caregiving as moral experience. April 11, 2013. The New England journal of medicine.

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  4. Kleinman A. Rebalancing academic psychiatry: why it needs to happen - and soon. December 1, 2012. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science.

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  5. Kleinman A. Caregiving as moral experience. November 3, 2012. Lancet.

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  6. Kleinman A. Epilogue. June 1, 2012. European psychiatry : the journal of the Association of European Psychiatrists.

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  7. Kleinman A. Culture, bereavement, and psychiatry. February 18, 2012. Lancet.

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  8. Becker AE, Kleinman A. An agenda for closing resource gaps in global mental health: innovation, capacity building, and partnerships. January 1, 2012. Harvard review of psychiatry.

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  9. Tucker JD, Kaufman J, Bhabha J, Kleinman A. Sex work and sexually transmitted infections in Asia: a biosocial analysis. December 1, 2011. The Journal of infectious diseases.

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  10. Kleinman A. A search for wisdom. November 5, 2011. Lancet.

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  11. Collins PY, Patel V, Joestl SS, March D, Insel TR, Daar AS, Anderson W, Dhansay MA, Phillips A, Shurin S, Walport M, Ewart W, Savill SJ, Bordin IA, Costello EJ, Durkin M, Fairburn C, Glass RI, Hall W, Huang Y, Hyman SE, Jamison K, Kaaya S, Kapur S, Kleinman A, Ogunniyi A, Otero-Ojeda A, Poo MM, Ravindranath V, Sahakian BJ, Saxena S, Singer PA, Stein DJ. Grand challenges in global mental health. July 6, 2011. Nature.

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  12. Kleinman A. The divided self, hidden values, and moral sensibility in medicine. March 5, 2011. Lancet.

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  13. Kleinman A. Four social theories for global health. May 1, 2010. Lancet.

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  14. Kleinman A. Remaking the moral person in China: implications for health. March 27, 2010. Lancet.

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  15. Stewart KA, Keusch GT, Kleinman A. Values and moral experience in global health: bridging the local and the global. January 1, 2010. Global public health.

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  16. Kleinman A. "The third category of mental disorders" by Xu Youxin. December 1, 2009. Culture, medicine and psychiatry.

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  17. Kleinman A. Global mental health: a failure of humanity. August 22, 2009. Lancet.

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  18. Kleinman A, Hall-Clifford R. Stigma: a social, cultural and moral process. June 1, 2009. Journal of epidemiology and community health.

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  19. Kleinman A. Borderlands: professional life lived precariously but happily in anthropology and medicine. June 1, 2009. Medical humanities.

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  20. Kleinman A. Caregiving: the odyssey of becoming more human. January 24, 2009. Lancet.

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  21. Yang LH, Kleinman A. 'Face' and the embodiment of stigma in China: the cases of schizophrenia and AIDS. April 15, 2008. Social science & medicine (1982).

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  22. Kleinman AM, Bloom BR, Saich A, Mason KA, Aulino F. Avian and pandemic influenza: a biosocial approach. Introduction. February 15, 2008. The Journal of infectious diseases.

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  23. Kleinman A. The normal, the pathological, and the existential. December 21, 2007. Comprehensive psychiatry.

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  24. Kleinman A. Commentary on Alex Cohen et al: "Questioning an axiom: better prognosis for schizophrenia in the developing world". December 3, 2007. Schizophrenia bulletin.

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  25. Lee S, Kleinman A. Are somatoform disorders changing with time? The case of neurasthenia in China. December 1, 2007. Psychosomatic medicine.

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  26. Lee S, Tsang A, Li XY, Phillips MR, Kleinman A. Attitudes toward suicide among Chinese people in Hong Kong. October 1, 2007. Suicide & life-threatening behavior.

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  27. Lee DT, Kleinman J, Kleinman A. Rethinking depression: an ethnographic study of the experiences of depression among Chinese. January 1, 2007. Harvard review of psychiatry.

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  28. Yang LH, Kleinman A, Link BG, Phelan JC, Lee S, Good B. Culture and stigma: adding moral experience to stigma theory. December 22, 2006. Social science & medicine (1982).

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  29. Kleinman A, Benson P. Anthropology in the clinic: the problem of cultural competency and how to fix it. October 1, 2006. PLoS medicine.

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  30. Kleinman A, Benson P. Culture, moral experience and medicine. October 1, 2006. The Mount Sinai journal of medicine, New York.

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  31. Benson P, Kleinman A. Invited comments on the Shostak and Ottman review. October 1, 2006. Epilepsia.

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  32. Patel V, Saraceno B, Kleinman A. Beyond evidence: the moral case for international mental health. August 1, 2006. The American journal of psychiatry.

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  33. Keusch GT, Wilentz J, Kleinman A. Stigma and global health: developing a research agenda. February 11, 2006. Lancet.

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  34. Lee DT, Yip WC, Chen Y, Meng Q, Kleinman A. Ethno-psychometric evaluation of the General Health Questionnaire in rural China. November 23, 2005. Psychological medicine.

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  35. Lee S, Chan LY, Chau AM, Kwok KP, Kleinman A. The experience of SARS-related stigma at Amoy Gardens. November 1, 2005. Social science & medicine (1982).

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  36. Lee S, Chiu MY, Tsang A, Chui H, Kleinman A. Stigmatizing experience and structural discrimination associated with the treatment of schizophrenia in Hong Kong. September 19, 2005. Social science & medicine (1982).

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  37. Lee S, Lee MT, Chiu MY, Kleinman A. Experience of social stigma by people with schizophrenia in Hong Kong. February 1, 2005. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science.

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  38. Kleinman A. Culture and depression. September 2, 2004. The New England journal of medicine.

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  39. Patel V, Kleinman A. Poverty and common mental disorders in developing countries. October 14, 2003. Bulletin of the World Health Organization.

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  40. Kleinman A. Introduction: common mental disorders, primary care, and the global mental health research agenda. May 1, 2003. Harvard review of psychiatry.

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  41. Lee S, Kleinman A. Psychiatry in its political and professional contexts: a response to Robin Munro. January 1, 2002. The journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.

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  42. Keshavjee S, Weiser S, Kleinman A. Medicine betrayed: hemophilia patients and HIV in the US. October 1, 2001. Social science & medicine (1982).

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  43. Kleinman A. Why psychiatry and cultural anthropology still need each other. January 1, 2001. Psychiatry.

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  44. Ji J, Kleinman A, Becker AE. Suicide in contemporary China: a review of China's distinctive suicide demographics in their sociocultural context. January 1, 2001. Harvard review of psychiatry.

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  45. Kleinman A. Cross-cultural psychiatry: a psychiatric perspective on global change. January 1, 2001. Harvard review of psychiatry.

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  46. Kleinman A. Social violence: research questions on local experiences and global responses. November 1, 1999. Archives of general psychiatry.

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  47. Mezzich JE, Kirmayer LJ, Kleinman A, Fabrega H, Parron DL, Good BJ, Lin KM, Manson SM. The place of culture in DSM-IV. August 1, 1999. The Journal of nervous and mental disease.

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  48. Kleinman A, Kleinman J. The transformation of everyday social experience: what a mental and social health perspective reveals about Chinese communities under global and local change. March 1, 1999. Culture, medicine and psychiatry.

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  49. Kleinman A, Kleinman J, Lee S. Introduction to the transformation of social experience in Chinese society: anthropological, psychiatric and social medicine perspectives. March 1, 1999. Culture, medicine and psychiatry.

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  50. Kleinman A. Moral experience and ethical reflection: can ethnography reconcile them? A quandary for "the new bioethics. January 1, 1999. Daedalus.

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  51. Hicks MH, Kleinman A, Yang L. The social course of schizophrenia: local and societal factors. July 1, 1998. The Kaohsiung journal of medical sciences.

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  52. Kleinman A, Becker AE. "Sociosomatics": the contributions of anthropology to psychosomatic medicine. July 1, 1998. Psychosomatic medicine.

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  53. Jenkins R, de Vries M, Eisenberg L, Kleinman A. WHO: where there is no vision, the people perish. November 15, 1997. Lancet.

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  54. Desjarlais R, Kleinman A. Violence and well-being. October 1, 1997. Social science & medicine (1982).

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  55. Eisenberg L, Kleinman A, Cohen A. Child and adolescent mental health: a global perspective. July 1, 1997. Journal of child and adolescent psychiatric nursing : official publication of the Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nurses, Inc.

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  56. Lee S, Kleinman A. Mental illness and social change in China. May 1, 1997. Harvard review of psychiatry.

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  57. Kleinman A, Cohen A. Psychiatry's global challenge. March 1, 1997. Scientific American.

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  58. Kleinman A. Triumph or pyrrhic victory? The inclusion of culture in DSM-IV. March 1, 1997. Harvard review of psychiatry.

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  59. Kleinman A. Suffering, ethics, and the politics of moral life. September 1, 1996. Culture, medicine and psychiatry.

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  60. Kleinman A. China: the epidemiology of mental illness. August 1, 1996. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science.

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  61. Kleinman A, Seymour A, Cohen A. World mental health: needs and resources. August 1, 1996. Behavioral healthcare tomorrow.

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  62. Kleinman A. Sociosomatics: how the social world affects bodily processes. January 1, 1996. Seishin shinkeigaku zasshi = Psychiatria et neurologia Japonica.

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  63. Kleinman A. Mental health in low-income countries. November 1, 1995. Harvard review of psychiatry.

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  64. Lewis-Fernández R, Kleinman A. Cultural psychiatry. Theoretical, clinical, and research issues. September 1, 1995. The Psychiatric clinics of North America.

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  65. Kleinman A, Eisenberg L. Mental health in low-income countries. July 1, 1995. Nature medicine.

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  66. Kleinman A, Wang WZ, Li SC, Cheng XM, Dai XY, Li KT, Kleinman J. The social course of epilepsy: chronic illness as social experience in interior China. May 1, 1995. Social science & medicine (1982).

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  67. Xiong W, Phillips MR, Hu X, Wang R, Dai Q, Kleinman J, Kleinman A. Family-based intervention for schizophrenic patients in China. A randomised controlled trial. August 1, 1994. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science.

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  68. Lewis-Fernández R, Kleinman A. Culture, personality, and psychopathology. February 1, 1994. Journal of abnormal psychology.

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  69. Ware NC, Kleinman A. Culture and somatic experience: the social course of illness in neurasthenia and chronic fatigue syndrome. September 1, 1992. Psychosomatic medicine.

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  70. Sugar JA, Kleinman A, Eisenberg L. Psychiatric morbidity in developing countries and American psychiatry's role in international health. April 1, 1992. Hospital & community psychiatry.

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  71. Mezzich JE, Fabrega H, Kleinman A. Cultural validity and DSM-IV. January 1, 1992. The Journal of nervous and mental disease.

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  72. Kleinman A, Kleinman J. Suffering and its professional transformation: toward an ethnography of interpersonal experience. September 1, 1991. Culture, medicine and psychiatry.

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  73. Lin KM, Kleinman AM. Psychopathology and clinical course of schizophrenia: a cross-cultural perspective. January 1, 1988. Schizophrenia bulletin.

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  74. Kleinman A. Anthropology and psychiatry. The role of culture in cross-cultural research on illness. October 1, 1987. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science.

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  75. Kleinman A. Understanding the impact of illness on the individual and the family. April 1, 1986. Journal of psychosocial nursing and mental health services.

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  76. Lin EH, Carter WB, Kleinman AM. An exploration of somatization among Asian refugees and immigrants in primary care. September 1, 1985. American journal of public health.

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  77. Kleinman A. The cultural meanings and social uses of illness. A role for medical anthropology and clinically oriented social science in the development of primary care theory and research. March 1, 1983. The Journal of family practice.

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  78. Beitman BD, Featherstone H, Kastner L, Katon W, Kleinman A. Steps toward patient acknowledgement of psychosocial factors. December 1, 1982. The Journal of family practice.

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  79. Kleinman A, Gale JL. Patients treated by physicians and folk healers: a comparative outcome study in Taiwan. December 1, 1982. Culture, medicine and psychiatry.

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  80. Kleinman A. Neurasthenia and depression: a study of somatization and culture in China. June 1, 1982. Culture, medicine and psychiatry.

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  81. Rosen G, Kleinman A, Katon W. Somatization in family practice: a biopsychosocial approach. March 1, 1982. The Journal of family practice.

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  82. Lin KM, Inui TS, Kleinman AM, Womack WM. Sociocultural determinants of the help-seeking behavior of patients with mental illness. February 1, 1982. The Journal of nervous and mental disease.

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  83. Katon W, Kleinman A, Rosen G. Depression and somatization: a review. Part II. February 1, 1982. The American journal of medicine.

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  84. Kleinman A. On illness meanings and clinical interpretation: not 'rational man', but a rational approach to man the sufferer/man the healer. December 1, 1981. Culture, medicine and psychiatry.

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  85. Lin KM, Kleinman A. Recent development of psychiatric epidemiology in China. June 1, 1981. Culture, medicine and psychiatry.

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  86. Smilkstein G, Kleinman A, Chrisman N, Rosen G, Katon W. The clinical social science conference in biopsychosocial teaching. February 1, 1981. The Journal of family practice.

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  87. Ries RK, Bokan JA, Kleinman A, Schuckit MA. Psychiatric consultation-liaison service: patients, requests, and functions. September 1, 1980. General hospital psychiatry.

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  88. Kleinman A. Major conceptual and research issues for cultural (anthropological) psychiatry. March 1, 1980. Culture, medicine and psychiatry.

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  89. Manschreck TC, Kleinman AM. Psychiatry's identity crisis: a critical rational remedy. July 1, 1979. General hospital psychiatry.

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  90. Kleinman A, Mechanic D. Some observations of mental illness and its treatment in the People's Republic of China. May 1, 1979. The Journal of nervous and mental disease.

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  91. Kleinman A, Sung LH. Why do indigenous practitioners successfully heal? January 1, 1979. Social science & medicine. Medical anthropology.

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  92. Kleinman A, Mendelsohn E. Systems of medical knowledge: a comparative approach. December 1, 1978. The Journal of medicine and philosophy.

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  93. Kleinman A. Culture and depression. December 1, 1978. Culture, medicine and psychiatry.

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  94. Kleinman AM. Three faces of culture-bound syndromes: their implications for cross-cultural research. September 1, 1978. Culture, medicine and psychiatry.

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  95. Kleinman A. Clinical relevance of anthropological and cross-cultural research: concepts and strategies. April 1, 1978. The American journal of psychiatry.

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  96. Kleinman A. Concepts and a model for the comparison of medical systems as cultural systems. April 1, 1978. Social science & medicine.

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  97. Kleinman A, Eisenberg L, Good B. Culture, illness, and care: clinical lessons from anthropologic and cross-cultural research. February 1, 1978. Annals of internal medicine.

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  98. Kleinman AM. Depression, somatization and the "new cross-cultural psychiatry". January 1, 1977. Social science & medicine.

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  99. Kleinman A. Culture, and illness: a question of models. January 1, 1977. Culture, medicine and psychiatry.

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  100. Kleinman A. Explaining the efficacy of indigenous therapies: the need for interdisciplinary research. January 1, 1977. Culture, medicine and psychiatry.

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  101. Kleinman AM. The symbolic context of Chinese medicine: a comparative approach to the study of traditional medical and psychiatric forms of care in Chinese culture. April 1, 1975. The American journal of Chinese medicine.

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  • Department of Anthropology, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Asia Center, Harvard University

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