Allan Young, Phd


McGill University, Social Science of Medicine
3647 Peel St., Room 211
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1X1
Tel: (514) 398-6249
Fax : (514) 398-1498
allan.young [at] (Email)

Areas of Expertise

Culture and somatization, the ethnography of post-traumatic stress disorder, anthropology of psychiatry.


Dr Young is Professor in the Departments of Social Studies of Medicine, Anthropology and Psychiatry. Dr Young received his graduate training at the University of Pennsylvania. His earliest ethnographic research was in highland Ethiopia, and concerned traditional medical practices. He later conducted research in Nepal, focused on the efforts of the Nepali government's integrate Ayuvedic medicine into its national health programme. In 1986, he was invited to conduct ethnographic research at the newly created National Center for Stress Recovery, a psychiatric unit mandated by the US Congress for the treatment of traumatized veterans of the Vietnam War. A book based on this research, "The Harmony of Illusions," published in 1995. For this work, he was awarded the book received the Wellcome Medal for Research in Anthropology as Applied to a Medical Subject.

His current research focuses on the ethnography of psychiatric science, specifically the valorization of (new) diagnostic and therapeutic technologies and the institutionalization of standards of evidence; the transfer and transformation of bioscience knowledge (among genetic researchers, clinical psychiatrists, pharmaceutical companies, and lay populations) concerning gene-based vulnerability to psychiatric disorders; and the ethnography of psychogenic trauma as a clinical entity and as a subject of laboratory and epidemiological research. Dr Young is on the editorial board of several journals, including the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Transcultural Psychiatry, and Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry.

Selected Publications

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