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Salem 2012

I'd lost track of the coverage of the afflicted girls of Le Roy, NY, but the New York Times has a terrific in-depth article.

At least as much as the kids' illness, I'm fascinated by the sociological symptoms, i.e. what happens when the parents and community demand answers and quickly grow frustrated when no simple ones materialize. In a world without recourse to witchcraft as a scapegoat, it took no time at all for conspiracy theories to blossom about the authorities covering up toxic contamination.

It also, of course, says a lot about how stigmatized and poorly understood mental and psychosomatic illness still are in our culture, and the extent to which people still interpret such diagnoses as "you're faking it" or "it's all in your head, get over it." Kudos to the neurologist mentioned near the end of the piece, Jennifer McVige, for devising a communication strategy that seems to circumvent a lot of those ingrained prejudices.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
ladyniko
Mar. 9th, 2012 02:36 am (UTC)
Wow, very indepth and a loooot of research and time and effort went into this article.

Neat! Thanks for sharing this.
wiliqueen
Mar. 9th, 2012 02:43 am (UTC)
You're welcome! Why We Still Need Traditional Journalism, Exhibit Q. :-)
studiesinlight
Mar. 9th, 2012 04:50 pm (UTC)
>"In a world without recourse to witchcraft as a scapegoat, it took no time at all for conspiracy theories to blossom about the authorities covering up toxic contamination."

I don't remember having heard of this town's woes; thank you for sharing the article.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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