Arthur Kleinman

Arthur Kleinman

Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor of Anthropology
Professor of Medical Anthropology in Global Health and Social Medicine
Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Arthur Kleinman copyright Torben Eskerod
copyright Torben Eskerod

Research and Teaching Interests

Global Mental Health; Social Medicine; Medical Humanities; Social Suffering; Caregiving; China; Asia broadly; North America.

Arthur Kleinman (born March 11, 1941) is a physician and anthropologist. A graduate of Stanford University and Stanford Medical School, with a master’s degree in social anthropology from Harvard and trained in psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Kleinman is a leading figure in several fields, including medical anthropology, cultural psychiatry, global health, social medicine, and medical humanities. A China scholar, since 1978, he has conducted research in China, and in Taiwan from 1969 until 1978.

Kleinman is professor of medical anthropology in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He is the Esther and Sidney Rabb professor of anthropology in the Department of Anthropology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), and was the Victor and William Fung director of Harvard University’s Asia Center 2008 - 2016. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Arthur Kleinman has published seven single authored books including Patients and Healers in the Context of Culture; Social Origins of Distress and Disease: Depression, Neurasthenia and Pain in Modern China; Rethinking Psychiatry; The Illness Narratives; Writing at the Margin; What Really Matters; and The Soul of Care. His four co-authored books include Reimagining Global Health; A Passion for Society: How We Think about Human Suffering; and Deep China: The Moral Life of the Person. He has also co-edited books on culture and depression; SARS in China; world mental health; suicide; placebos; AIDS in China; and the relationship of anthropology to philosophy (The Ground Between: Anthropologists Engage Philosophy).

His current collaborative projects include a comparative study of eldercare for dementia in six Asian settings; an ethnographic study of trust in the doctor-patient relationship in China; and social technologies for aging and eldercare in China.

Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications

  • Arthur Kleinman, Patients and Healers in the Context of Culture, University of California Press 1980.
  • Arthur Kleinman, The Illness Narratives, Basic Books/Perseus Books 1988.
  • Arthur Kleinman, Rethinking Psychiatry, Free Press/Simon & Schuster 1988.
  • Arthur Kleinman, What Really Matters, Oxford University Press 2006.
  • Paul Farmer, Jim Yong Kim, Arthur Kleinman and Matthew Basilico, Reimagining Global Health, University of California Press 2013.
  • Iain Wilkinson and Arthur Kleinman, A Passion for Society: How We Think About Human Suffering. University of California Press 2016.

Contact Information

Tozzer Anthropology Building 414
21 Divinity Ave.
Cambridge MA 02138
p: (617) 495-3846