Domestic Moods: Maternal Mental Health in Northern Vietnam

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

In this article I propose the notion of domestic mood as an important
concept for mental health research. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork
conducted among women living in Hanoi, Vietnam, I explore the maternal
mental health problems that the women reported, focusing particularly on
the household tensions and conflicts that made the entry into motherhood
a distressful experience. To develop the concept of domestic mood, I draw
on Martin Heidegger’s work, particularly his claim that human being is
always a being-with. Comprehending maternal mental health problems, I
argue, requires that we pay attention not only to individual states of mind,
but also to the ways that domestic environments shape people’s moods.
Taking this analytical approach, I show how the mental health states of
pregnant women and new mothers in Vietnam were inseparable from their
husbands’ structural vulnerabilities within kin groups.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMedical Anthropology
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)582-596
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2018

ID: 176377926