The overlooked society by ashley lee


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The overlooked society by ashley lee

  1. 1. The Overlooked SocietyBy: Ashley LeeProfessor Signer<br />
  2. 2. Objectives<br />In this particular class I have learned a lot about many societies that have impacted my life and most importantly my judgments and beliefs. For this particular project I wanted to observe the lives of a particular group in society which is the : The Mentally-ill. <br />
  3. 3. Mentally Ill<br />When I first began to start this particular project I wanted to see how many people characterized this particular group of people. The first place I looked to see some of the attributes associated with the mentally ill was the Webster’s dictionary. When I seen several of the words that appeared when I looked for the definition of the mentally ill, I was shocked and also disturbed.<br />
  4. 4. Definition of Mentally-Ill<br />The definition of “Mentally-ill” is having a mental illness. <br />After reading this particular definition I looked at the synonyms associated with this particular definition. Some of the words that followed after the definition were:<br />Unbalanced Paranoid<br />Psychotic Lunatic<br />Demented<br />Deranged<br />
  5. 5. Definition of Mentally-Ill cont.<br />As I was looking at all these words listed one after the other a rush of emotions overwhelmed my body and then began to seep through my thoughts. I have always realized the depth in which the mentally-ill is judged and also treated but never felt the amount of emotion I felt while reading these particular words. For a long period of time in my life I have been interested in the lives of the mentally-ill; I have always wondered how they are diagnosed and how they are treated because of their condition. This is what led me into deciding to chose this particular group to study, observe and also get a better understanding of their lifestyles.<br />
  6. 6. Main Questions<br />One of my primary questions when I first began to perform this particular project was: <br />-Would I need a license to observe this particular group of people?<br />-Does the patients that reside in the Bernard Fine son Facility perform some daily activities by themselves?<br />What precautions did the employers that worked at this particular facility have to take while working to take care of these patients?<br />
  7. 7. Main Questions Part II<br />In what ways are the way the patients interact with each other similar to the way “normal” people interact with one another ?<br />Many of the questions that I held curiosity in before conducting this project did not alter but instead created increased curiosity in my head about the things that I wanted to observe and analyze.<br />
  8. 8. Methods<br />I began my research after I put my fears and regrets aside, I wrote down all of the questions that I wanted to be answered including interview questions and questions that I could receive answers from by simply observing. <br />During my entire project I conducted five interviews amongst four of the employers and one interview with one of the patients.<br />
  9. 9. Methods Part II<br />During the course of my entire project I had countless informal conversations with the employers which provided me their view on working at this particular.<br />I spent a couple of weeks observing and participating and over a period of time had gradually progressed my methods began to change because I began to interact more with the patients and also the employees.<br />
  10. 10. Results <br />The interviews provided me a great sense of knowledge on how it feels to work with this particular group of people and also the amount of reasonability that is needed in order to do this particular job efficiently. <br />
  11. 11. Results II<br />In the beginning of the interviewing process I was nervous that my questions would sound “stupid” or make no sense so I began to formulate questions to ask several of the employers and started the interview process the third week that I was present at the facility. The interviews were no longer than twenty minutes and as time progressed I began to feel a sense of comfort amongst the employers and as well as the patients; although I was not allowed in the same room as the patients , I felt a connection with them than what I had when I first started observing there. The patients were aware of my presence and at times would come to the window and try to have a conversation, one of the conversations stood out the most, and it was a conversation with a patient named Jimmy.<br />
  12. 12. Results III<br />Jimmy stood out the most to me out of the rest of the patients for many particular reasons; to begin with Jimmy English was well-developed. Jimmy understood many things that the employers would say to him and often responded with completed whole sentences with proper English, although he interacts with the other patients by speaking their unknown language, he was the most aware of his surroundings and also the reason as to why he was placed in this facility. I decided to hold an interview with Jimmy with an employer present in the room to ensure my safety, this interview was the interview I was most nervous for; I had no idea what to ask without the possibility of striking a nerve or rage.<br />
  13. 13. Results IV<br />As we sat in the room quietly for five minutes there was a sense of tension and silence took over the entire room. The silence was abruptly interrupted when Jimmy told me that his mother was coming to see him that same day, he said. This was unusual in this particular facility because many of the patient’s families left them at the facility and abandoned them without calling or even visiting an employer had told me. This interview with Jimmy was the most nerve-wracking amongst any of the interviews I had conducted throughout this project because I was warned of Jimmy’s violent history in the facility. <br />
  14. 14. Results V<br />During this particular interview Jimmy was telling me about his family, he expressed to me that his mother “loved” him and sent him to the facility because he was having too much “fun”, he told me that she promised to come get him before Christmas comes, but a staff member told me that this promise has been occurring for at least two years. I asked Jimmy about the other patients and his thoughts about living at this particular facility. He simply told me with a smile that they are all friends and then he began to discuss all the fights that he got into while living at this facility. The interview took a turn when he began to ask me questions such as my name, where my family was from and also a promise. He asked me to make a promise with him that I would talk to him every week, I intend to keep this promise by visiting or by making phone calls.<br />
  15. 15. Results VI<br />From asking several questions during the many interviews and conversations that occurred during this project, I learned that this society that is often overlooked has many similar attributes that many of us share. I learned that it takes “compassion and patience” in order to try to understand the lives of the mentally-ill, that is something that I learned while conducting a specific interview with one of the employers named Julie. She explained to me that patience is one of the essential qualities you must have in order to understand the mentally-ill and most importantly anyone.<br />
  16. 16. Results VII<br />I realized by observing that the mentally-ill shared one thing in common that most of us share which is the significant fear of abandonment. I realized the friendships amongst most of the patients were essential in the way that they interacted and also the way they treated employers and also a stranger which was myself. I realized that the bond that they shared amongst themselves was stronger than any bond I had with some of my friends. Although they got into fights and arguments over trivial things a few hours later they would reunite and become friends once again which was reflected in the conversations they had amongst themselves, although their language seemed unclear to me, they understood each other more than anyone else could.<br />
  17. 17. Results VIII<br />While conducting this particular research project I reflected on an activist that has a significant impact on the condition and care of the mentally-ill a woman named Dorothea Dixon.<br />
  18. 18. Dorothea Dixon<br />-Dixon was a teacher and also an activist against the way the mentally-ill was being treated.<br />Dixon’s work began when she took a trip to a prison in East Cambridge, she witnessed the mentally-ill being housed in vile conditions, the people that worked with this particular group of people treated them as if they weren't human by not feeding them, beating them and also allowing them to eat their feces because of the lack of sanitary facilities.<br />
  19. 19. Dorothea Dixon II<br />After witnessing the unsuitable living conditions that they had to endure she began to ask the many people that were in charge of this particular facility several questions such as: Why are the patients provided heat?<br />The managers simply replied by saying: “The mentally-ill did not deserve heat because they could not feel extreme temperatures”. This particular statement followed in Dixon’s mind as she continued her quest.<br />Dixon’s work to try to change the way we take care of the mentally-ill resulted into passing of a bill to build hospitals for the mentally-ill in thirteen states including New York City.<br />
  20. 20. Anthropological Concepts/ Theories<br />This particular class has taught me many things when it came towards conducting this particular project and as well as life. <br />To begin with the many discussions we had about being an interviewer helped alleviate some of the stress that I had before conducting any of the interviews that I have done pertaining to this project. <br />
  21. 21. Anthropological Concepts/ Theories<br />While conducting this particular project one of the course readings that connected the most with my studies is the article “Vita” by Joah Biehl.<br />
  22. 22. Anthropological Concepts/ Theories<br />This particular article connected the most with my article because it discussed the lives of the mentally-ill and also the way society treats them. This article correlates with my project the most because one of my primary reasons for choosing this particular project is to observe the lives of the mentally ill and also the way they were treated. After reading this particular article my curiosity for this particular group in society increased and also impacted my beliefs of the mentally-ill.<br />
  23. 23. Anthropological Concepts/ Theories<br />Along with Joah Biehl I realized the impact abandonment had on the patients that I observed. Most of the patients were waiting for their families to come and visit, their hope of seeing their families again left them with a sense of happiness and also made them feel loved. My interview with Jimmy reflected the impact abandonment had on their actions because as he continued to talk about his mother coming to visit him he would become angry realizing that she never kept her promise to him; which also made me feel sad that he lived with unbroken promises. Realizing the amount of hope that each patient had in their families also made me realized Hope is essential to the potential of living.<br />
  24. 24. Problems/Limitations<br />Some challenges that I faced while conducting this particular project was not having the ability to interact more with the patients, because of the rules and regulation within this particular facility.<br />Next time I will try to see if there are ways in which I could be able to interact with the patients more so that I could observe them at a closer level.<br />
  25. 25. Successes<br />