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The Challenge of Mental Health
This thoughtful, compassionate book makes a major contribution to our understanding of the Southern Appalachian child -- his mental disorders and his adaptive strengths. Drawing upon his extensive fieldwork as a clinical child psychiatrist in Eastern Kentucky, Dr. Looff suggests means by which these children can be helped to bridge the gap between their subculture and the mainstream of American life today.
The children described in this book, the author points out, are in a real sense not "all children." Since no child grows up in a vacuum, the children of Eastern Kentucky cannot be understood apart from the historical, geographic, and socioeconomic characteristics of the area in which they grow. Knowledge of the children requires some knowledge of the lives of parent, teachers, and the many others upon whom they are dependent. That is to say, mental disorder -- or mental health -- is embedded in a social matrix. Dr. Looff therefore examines the milieu of these Southern Appalachian children, their future as adults, and how they can achieve their potential -- whether in their native or an urban setting. In viewing the children within their own cultural framework, Dr. Looff shows how they develop toward mental health or psychopathology, suggesting supportive techniques that build upon the strengths inherent in each child. These strengths, he suggests, rise out of the same culture that burdens the child with handicaps.
Dr. Looff's position is one of guarded optimism, based on the successes of the techniques he has used and observed in seven years of work in Appalachian field clinics. Although he details instances of mental disorder in children, and instances of failure in family functioning, he notes at the same time family strengths and sees these strengths as sources of hope.
Although this book is based on fieldwork techniques within a specific area and culture, it is paradigmatically suggestive of wider application. Dr. Looff demonstrates effectively and clearly the profound need for increased concern about what is happening to the rising generation -- the children of Eastern Kentucky, the children of the Southern Appalachian region, and the children of the rural south.
Rethinking a Region's Economic History, 1730-1940
In Appalachia's Path to Dependency, Paul Salstrom examines the evolution of economic life over time in southern Appalachia. Moving away from the colonial model to an analysis based on dependency, he exposes the complex web of factors -- regulation of credit, industrialization, population growth, cultural values, federal intervention -- that has worked against the region.
Salstrom argues that economic adversity has resulted from three types of disadvantages: natural, market, and political. The overall context in which Appalachia's economic life unfolded was one of expanding United States markets and, after the Civil War, of expanding capitalist relations.
Covering Appalachia's economic history from early white settlement to the end of the New Deal, this work is not simply an economic interpretation but draws as well on other areas of history. Whereas other interpretations of Appalachia's economy have tended to seek social or psychological explanations for its dependency, this important work compels us to look directly at the region's economic history. This regional perspective offers a clear-eyed view of Appalachia's path in the future.
Poetry and Place
Author, activist, feminist, teacher, and artist bell hooks is celebrated as one of the nation's leading intellectuals. Born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, hooks drew her unique pseudonym from the name of her grandmother, an intelligent and strong-willed African American woman who inspired her to stand up against a dominating and repressive society. Her poetry, novels, memoirs, and children's books reflect her Appalachian upbringing and feature her struggles with racially integrated schools and unwelcome authority figures. One of Utne Reader's "100 Visionaries Who Can Change Your Life," hooks has won wide acclaim from critics and readers alike. In Appalachian Elegy, bell hooks continues her work as an imagist of life's harsh realities in a collection of poems inspired by her childhood in the isolated hills and hidden hollows of Kentucky. At once meditative, confessional, and political, this poignant volume draws the reader deep into the experience of living in Appalachia. Touching on such topics as the marginalization of its people and the environmental degradation it has suffered over the years, hooks's poetry quietly elegizes the slow loss of an identity while also celebrating that which is constant, firmly rooted in a place that is no longer whole.
Appalachians have been characterized as a population with numerous disparities in health and limited access to medical services and infrastructures, leading to inaccurate generalizations that inhibit their healthcare progress. Appalachians face significant challenges in obtaining effective care, and the public lacks information about both their healthcare needs and about the resources communities have developed to meet those needs.
In Appalachian Health and Well-Being, editors Robert L. Ludke and Phillip J. Obermiller bring together leading researchers and practitioners to provide a much-needed compilation of data- and research-driven perspectives, broadening our understanding of strategies to decrease the health inequalities affecting both rural and urban Appalachians. The contributors propose specific recommendations for necessary research, suggest practical solutions for health policy, and present best practices models for effective health intervention. This in-depth analysis offers new insights for students, health practitioners, and policy makers, promoting a greater understanding of the factors affecting Appalachian health and effective responses to those needs.
History, Culture, and Recipes
Mark F. Sohn’s classic book, Mountain Country Cooking, was a James Beard Award nominee in 1997. In Appalachian Home Cooking, Sohn expands and improves upon his earlier work by using his extensive knowledge of cooking to uncover the romantic secrets of Appalachian food, both within and beyond the kitchen. Shedding new light on Appalachia’s food, history, and culture, Sohn offers over eighty classic recipes, as well as photographs, poetry, mail-order sources, information on Appalachian food festivals, a glossary of Appalachian and cooking terms, menus for holidays and seasons, and lists of the top Appalachian foods. Appalachian Home Cooking celebrates mountain food at its best.
This volume is the first to explore broadly many important theoretical and applied issues concerning the mental health of Appalachians. The authors -- anthropologists, psychologists, social workers and others -- overturn many assumptions held by earlier writers, who have tended to see Appalachia and its people as being dominated by a culture of poverty.
While the heterogeneity of the region is acknowledged in the diversity of sub-areas and populations discussed, dominant themes emerge concerning Appalachia as a whole. The result of the authors' varied approaches is a cumulative portrait of a strong regional culture with native support systems based on family, community, and religion.
Some of the contributors examine therapeutic approaches, including family therapy, that consider the implications of the cultural context. Others explore the impact of Appalachian culture on the impact of Appalachian culture on the development of mental health problems and coping skills and the resulting potential for conflict between Appalachian clients and non-Appalachian health providers. Still others examine cultural considerations in therapeutic encounters and mental health service delivery. The book is rich in case studies and empirical data. The practical, applied nature of the essays will enhance their value for practitioners seeking ways to improve mental health care in the region.
For more than fifty years mountain-born Earl Palmer traveled the Southern Appalachians with his camera, recording his personal vision of the mountain people and their heritage. Over these year he created, in several thousand photographs, a distinctive body of work that affirms a traditional image of Appalachia -- a region of great natural beauty inhabited by a self-sufficient people whose lives are notable for simplicity and harmony.
For this book, Jean Haskell Speer has selected more than 120 representative photographs from Palmer's collection and has written a biographical and critical commentary based on extensive interviews with the photographer. Palmer's photographs, Speer argues, are significant cultural statements that depict not so much a geographical region as a particular idea of Appalachia.
Twenty-Five Years of Government Policy
The images of poverty in Appalachia that John F. Kennedy used in his campaign for the presidency in 1960 shocked and disturbed many Americans. Five years later, President Lyndon Johnson and the U.S. Congress demonstrated their commitment to that neglected and exploited region with the creation of the Appalachian Regional Commission. In this insightful book, Michael Bradshaw explores the ARC's unique federal-state partnership and analyses in detail the contributions of the local development districts.
But this work is more than an analysis of a government agency; it is, as Bradshaw notes, "a book about an attempt to change the human geography of a large region of the United States by means of public policy." Bradshaw offers important insights into the ARC's interactions with six administrations throughout its history. The Reagan years were especially challenging: during his eight years in office, Reagan left the ARC out of his budget entirely, but support from the state governors and Congress prevented closing of the Commission and maintained basic funding.
The bottom line for an agency such as the ARC is whether it has made any difference in the lives of the people of Appalachia. Many would say their lives have been affected positively by the government funds that have been poured into the region, but many others continue to question the ways in which the ARC was established and operated. This is a book that should be read by any citizen who is interested in how to make government work effectively at all levels.
The Diary of Olive Dame Campbell
In 1908 and 1909, noted social reformer and "songcatcher" Olive Dame Campbell traveled with her husband, John C. Campbell, through the Southern Highlands region of Appalachia to survey the social and economic conditions in mountain communities. Throughout the journey, Olive kept a detailed diary offering a vivid, entertaining, and personal account of the places the couple visited, the people they met, and the mountain cultures they encountered.
Although John C. Campbell's book, The Southern Highlander and His Homeland, is cited by nearly every scholar writing about the region, little has been published about the Campbells themselves and their role in the sociological, educational, and cultural history of Appalachia. In this critical edition, Elizabeth McCutchen Williams makes Olive's diary widely accessible to scholars and students for the first time. Appalachian Travels only offers an invaluable account of mountain society at the turn of the twentieth century.
An Annotated Bibliography
Appalachian women have been the subject of song, story, and report for nearly two centuries. Now for the first time a fully annotated bibliography makes accessible this large body of literature. Works covered include novels, short stories, magazine articles, manuscripts, dissertations, surveys, and oral history tapes -- altogether over 1,200 items.
The annotated listings are grouped under broad subject headings, including biography, coal mining, education, fiction, health care, industry, migrants, music, poetry, and religion. An author/title/subject index provides easy access to the listings.