The Culture-Bound Syndromes

Folk Illnesses of Psychiatric and Anthropological Interest

  • Ronald C. Simons
  • Charles C. Hughes

Part of the Culture, Illness, and Healing book series (CIHE, volume 7)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Charles C. Hughes
      Pages 3-24
    3. Ronald C. Simons
      Pages 25-38
  3. Folk Illnesses of Psychiatric Interest in which some Evidence Supports the Hypothesis of a Neurophysiological Shaping Factor

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 39-39
    2. The Startle Matching Taxon

      1. Ronald C. Simons
        Pages 41-42
      2. Ronald C. Simons
        Pages 43-62
      3. Michael G. Kenny
        Pages 63-76
      4. Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney
        Pages 91-110
      5. Charles C. Hughes
        Pages 111-113
    3. The Sleep Paralysis Taxon

      1. Ronald C. Simons
        Pages 115-116
      2. Joseph D. Bloom, Richard D. Gelardin
        Pages 117-122
      3. Charles C. Hughes
        Pages 147-148
  4. Folk Illnesses of Psychiatric Interest in which a Neurophysiological Shaping Factor is Only Suspected

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 149-149
    2. The Genital Retraction Taxon

      1. Ronald C. Simons
        Pages 151-153
      2. Gwee Ah Leng
        Pages 155-159
      3. O. I. Ifabumuyi, G. G. C. Rwegellera
        Pages 161-163
      4. Charles C. Hughes
        Pages 193-194
    3. The Sudden Mass Assault Taxon

      1. Ronald C. Simons
        Pages 197-197
      2. B. G. Burton-Bradley
        Pages 237-249
      3. J. Arboleda-Florez
        Pages 251-262
      4. Charles C. Hughes
        Pages 263-264
    4. The Running Taxon

      1. Ronald C. Simons
        Pages 267-269
      2. Zachary Gussow
        Pages 271-287
      3. Philip A. Dennis
        Pages 289-306
      4. Edward F. Foulks
        Pages 307-324
      5. Charles C. Hughes
        Pages 325-326
  5. Folk Illnesses Usually Listed as Culture-Bound Psychiatric Syndromes which should Probably no Longer be so Considered

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 327-327
    2. The Fright Illness Taxon

      1. Ronald C. Simons
        Pages 329-331
      2. Arthur J. Rubel, Carl W. O’nell, Rolando Collado
        Pages 333-350
      3. Stephen Frankel
        Pages 399-404
      4. Charles C. Hughes
        Pages 405-407
    3. The Cannibal Compulsion Taxon

      1. Ronald C. Simons
        Pages 409-410
      2. H. B. M. Murphy
        Pages 449-462
      3. Charles C. Hughes
        Pages 463-465
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 467-516

About this book


In the last few years there has been a great revival of interest in culture-bound psychiatric syndromes. A spate of new papers has been published on well known and less familiar syndromes, and there have been a number of attempts to put some order into the field of inquiry. In a review of the literature on culture-bound syndromes up to 1969 Yap made certain suggestions for organizing thinking about them which for the most part have not received general acceptance (see Carr, this volume, p. 199). Through the seventies new descriptive and conceptual work was scarce, but in the last few years books and papers discussing the field were authored or edited by Tseng and McDermott (1981), AI-Issa (1982), Friedman and Faguet (1982) and Murphy (1982). In 1983 Favazza summarized his understanding of the state of current thinking for the fourth edition of the Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, and a symposium on culture-bound syndromes was organized by Kenny for the Eighth International Congress of Anthropology and Ethnology. The strong­ est impression to emerge from all this recent work is that there is no substantive consensus, and that the very concept, "culture-bound syndrome" could well use some serious reconsideration. As the role of culture-specific beliefs and prac­ tices in all affliction has come to be increasingly recognized it has become less and less clear what sets the culture-bound syndromes apart.


anatomy anthropology ethnology psychiatry

Editors and affiliations

  • Ronald C. Simons
    • 1
    • 2
  • Charles C. Hughes
    • 3
  1. 1.Dept. of PsychiatryMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Dept. of AnthropologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  3. 3.Dept. of Family and Community Medicine, Medical CenterThe University of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1985
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-277-1859-4
  • Online ISBN 978-94-009-5251-5
  • Buy this book on publisher's site