The Migration of Culture-Bound Syndromes

  • Roland Littlewood


Since the beginning of the century psychiatrists have distinguished between the essential pathogenic determinants of a mental disorder, necessary and sufficient to cause it, and those pathoplastic factors which are associated with individual variation. This distinction was loosely tied to the classic 19th century German distinction between form and content. Thus pathoplastic factors gave ‘content, colouring and contour to individual illnesses whose basic form and character have already been biologically established’ (I).


Dexamethasone Suppression Test Spirit Possession Individual Illness Transcultural Psychiatry Deviant Feature 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roland Littlewood
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Social AnthropologyOxford and Guy’s HospitalLondonEngland

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