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
     
 

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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

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 ways in which local people understand it. Arguing that latah has specific social functions, he concludes that it should not be treated 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

Introduction; Part I. The Problem of Latah: 1. The study of latah; 2. Latah, history and gender; 3. 'Latah' elsewhere; Part II. Latah, Society and Culture: 4. Latah in Kelantan: an overview; 5. Latah and Malay culture; 6. Symbolic meanings and social uses; Part III. Borneo Comparisons and Perspective: 7. Latah in Borneo; 8. Latah and the Iban; Part IV. Conclusions: 9. Explaining latah: paradigm and paradox, syndrome and ritual, nature and culture.

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