Latah in South-East Asia: The History and Ethnography of a Culture-bound Syndrome

Latah in South-East Asia: The History and Ethnography of a Culture-bound Syndrome

by Robert L. Winzeler
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521031370

ISBN-13: 9780521031370

Pub. Date: 06/26/2008

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

"Latah," the Malayan hyperstartle pattern, has fascinated Western observers since the late nineteenth century and is widely regarded as a "culture-bound syndrome." Dr Winzeler critically reviews the literature on the subject, and presents new ethnographic information based on his own fieldwork in Malaya and Borneo. He considers the biological and psychological…  See more details below

Overview

"Latah," the Malayan hyperstartle pattern, has fascinated Western observers since the late nineteenth century and is widely regarded as a "culture-bound syndrome." Dr Winzeler critically reviews the literature on the subject, and presents new ethnographic information based on his own fieldwork in Malaya and Borneo. He considers the biological and psychological hypotheses that have been proposed to account for "latah," and explains the way in which local people understand it. Arguing that latah has specific social uses, he concludes that it is not generally appropriate to regard it as an "illness" or "syndrome."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521031370
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
06/26/2008
Series:
Publications of the Society for Psychological Anthropology Series, #7
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

List of maps and tables
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: the problem of latah1
Pt. IThe problem of latah9
1The study of latah11
2Latah, history, and gender25
3"Latah" elsewhere33
Pt. IILatah, society, and culture53
4Latah in Kelantan: an overview55
5Latah and Malay culture74
6Symbolic meanings and social uses92
Pt. IIIBorneo comparisons and perspectives107
7Latah in Borneo109
8Latah and the Iban119
Pt. IVConclusions127
9Explaining latah: paradigm and paradox, syndrome and ritual, nature and culture129
Glossary137
Notes141
Bibliography156
Index169

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