FORUM FOR ANTHROPOLOGY AND CULTURE

ANTROPOLOGICHESKIJ FORUM
RUS | ENG

Antropologicheskij forum, 2019, no. 41

 

A Review of EUGENE RAIKHEL, GOVERNING HABITS: TREATING ALCOHOLISM IN THE POST-SOVIET CLINIC. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2016, 248 pp.

Anna Altukhova
European University at St Petersburg
6/1А Gagarinskaya Str., St Petersburg, Russia
altukhova()eu.spb.ru

Abstract: The new book by Eugene Raikhel is devoted to post-Soviet narcology and various approaches to the clinical treatment of alcoholism in St Petersburg, such as “kodirovanie”, “khimzashchita”, “podshivka”, and “12 steps”. This book is based on materials from a long-term participant observation in numerous clinics and centers, along with conversations with different medical practitioners, experts and patients the author met during his fieldwork. Using these materials, Raikhel describes the institutional changes in this sphere after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and seeks to answer the question why some methods were legitimatized while others were marginalized, what underlay their “efficiency” or “failure”, and how medical experts explained it to their patients. The author offers an explanation of the ways according to which medical technologies and expert knowledge are circulated and transformed. This focus lets Raikhel enter into a discussion with medical experts concerning the post-Soviet patient’s agency in the case of modern Russian narcology.

Keywords: alcoholism, narcology, post-Soviet healthcare, medical anthropology.

To cite: Altukhova A., ‘A Review of Eugene Raikhel, Governing Habits: Treating Alcoholism in the Post-Soviet Clinic. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2016, 248 pp.’, Antropologicheskij forum, 2019, no. 41, pp. 147–160.

doi: 10.31250/1815-8870-2019-15-41-147-160

URL: http://anthropologie.kunstkamera.ru/files/pdf/041/altukhova.pdf