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AMHIG Graduate Student Paper Prize Award 2020

AMHIG is excited to announce the winner of our annual graduate student paper prize. Congratulations to Parsa Bastani for his excellent paper, “Feeling at Home in the Clinic: Therapeutics and Dwelling in an Addiction Rehabilitation Center in Tehran, Iran.” We look forward to celebrating his intellectual acheivements at our annual membership meeting in November! Attached below is a short bio about Parsa, along with his paper abstract.

Bio: Parsa Bastani is obtaining his PhD in Anthropology and Masters in Public Health at Brown University. His dissertation research is on the transformation of law enforcement into behavioral health service providers during the opioid crisis in the midwestern United States. He also has an ongoing research project on addiction rehabilitation and harm reduction programs in Tehran, Iran. Parsa’s research has received funding from the National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council, National Institutes of Health, and Population Studies and Training Center at Brown University.

Abstract: This article describes community life in a free residential rehabilitation center for women in Tehran, Iran. In a social and cultural context that highly stigmatizes drug usage, especially among women, this rehabilitation center provides poor and homeless drug users a much-needed opportunity to engage in recovery. I argue that “therapeutic dwelling,” or patients’ abilities to form mutual relations of care and concern with others in therapeutic settings, can serve as a key component of rehabilitation for women who have experienced family and social abandonment. I show that a therapeutic culture that emphasizes dwelling can have multiple effects on the healing trajectories of patients. It can create a supportive community that extends the rehabilitation process while also further marginalizing patients who are unable to follow standards that dictate how they should exhibit care toward others. Ultimately, I suggest that therapeutic settings should approach dwelling more capaciously to become more inclusive and welcoming of patients.

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