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Mindfulness and culture

Cook, J; Cassaniti, J; (2022) Mindfulness and culture. Anthropology Today , 38 (2) pp. 1-3. 10.1111/1467-8322.12704. Green open access

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Mindfulness, an awareness training practice originating in Buddhism, is simultaneously championed as a mental health tool and critiqued as a form of neo-liberal subjugation in media representations. Here, anthropology is well positioned to contribute to and meaningfully alter these contemporary debates. Anthropologists' focus on the relationship between psychological categories and culturally embedded ethical practices offers a welcome corrective to celebratory or critical interpretive modes. Through an analysis of sensationalized media reports that ‘mindfulness can make you selfish!’, the authors argue that long-term qualitative research uncovers ways in which cultural values profoundly influence the effects of mindfulness. In doing so, they suggest the importance of continued ethnographic research into mindfulness and increased public attention to the connections between the culturally patterned ways that we think of our minds and what those minds come to be through mindfulness training.

Type: Article
Title: Mindfulness and culture
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1467-8322.12704
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8322.12704
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10150081
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