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Workshop on the Culture of Stress

Jun 05, 2012

"The Culture of Stress" was the topic of a workshop on May 22 and 23 at the Karl Jaspers Centre. It was held by project C5 "Stress and Stress Relief". Prof. Richard Wilkinson from University of Nottingham, UK, gave a keynote speech with the title "Inequality: The enemy between us?"

The workshop addressed 'stress' in Western and Non-Western countries. Less than a century ago, Western medical science developed the concept of 'stress’. After the Second World War this concept was rapidly disseminated by the mass media, and it now permeates everyday discourse in the West. With (neoliberal) globalization, success-oriented Western work regimes and life-styles and the ‘stress’ associated with them are allegedly spreading across the globe, especially into the Asian growth economies.

The workshop combined epidemiological research on 'stress' with anthropological and historical approaches investigating the transcultural processes by which phenomena such as stress emerge and are embedded into very different socio-cultural settings. The invited scholars addressed questions such as "How are living conditions, life events and lifestyles that in Western discourse are thought to generate 'stress' perceived, framed and acted upon in particular social settings in non-Western countries?" or "What are the (transcultural) trajectories and who are the (transcultural) actors involved in the dissemination of the concept of 'stress'?"

The first keynote lecture on May 22 was held by Prof. Richard Wilkinson, professor emeritus in social epidemiology at the University of Nottingham, UK. He is well-known for his research on inequalities in health and the social determinants of health. Prof. Allan Young from McGill University, Canada, gave the second keynote lecture on May 23. He spoke about "Stress, traumatic stress and the culture of resilience".

The workshop was organised by Dr. Christian Strümpell, Dr. Adrian Loerbroks, Hasan Ashraf and Maria Steinisch from research project C5 "Stress and Stress Relief". The project is coordinated by Prof. William Sax, Prof. Wolfgang Eckart and Prof. Joachim Fischer. It took place on May 22 and 23 at the Karl Jaspers Centre.

For more information visit the conference website.


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  • Group of participants

  • Talk by Prof. Wilkinson

  • Welcome by Prof. Herren-Oesch

  • Introduction by the conference organisers

  • Prof. Wilkinson

  • Prof. Young

  • Audience