Skip to main content

Latah II — Problems with a Purely Symbolic Interpretation

A Reply to Michael Kenny

  • Chapter

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

Abstract

It began when my mother died. I was very sad. I was sitting quietly like this, thinking ‘my mother is gone’. Someone came from behind. He grabbed me and said, ‘What’s up!’ I was startled! My body trembled like this. My mind went blank. When my body stopped trembling he again suddenly poked me in the ribs. I picked up a stick and hit him. I couldn’t think — what could I know? Later, wherever I went, people liked to watch me. They thought I was just pretending. They startled me with pokes in the ribs over and over again until I became ill. — Hajjah Misah Bani, a Latah

Keywords

  • Startle Reaction
  • Startling Stimulus
  • Interpretive Framework
  • Taboo Word
  • Local Meaning

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-94-009-5251-5_6
  • Chapter length: 13 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   219.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-94-009-5251-5
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   279.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   379.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  • Aberle, D. 1952 Arctic Hysteria and Latah in Mongolia. Transactions of the New York Academy of Science 14: 291–297.

    Google Scholar 

  • Barkow, J. 1980 Sociobiology: Is This the New Theory of Human Nature? In A. Montague (ed.), Sociobiology Examined. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Beard, G. M. 1880 Experiments with the Jumpers or Jumping Frenchmen of Maine. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 7: 487–490.

    Google Scholar 

  • Carr, J. 1978 Ethno-Behaviorism and Culture-Bound Syndromes: The Case of Amok. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 22: 269–293. (Reprinted in this volume.)

    Google Scholar 

  • Chance, M. R. A. and R. R. Larson 1976 The Social Structure of Attention. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

    Google Scholar 

  • Clifford, H. 1898 Studies in Brown Humanity. London: Grant Richards.

    Google Scholar 

  • Engel, G. 1977 The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biomedicine. Science 196: 129–137.

    Google Scholar 

  • Firth, R. 1973 Symbols Public and Private. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Geertz, H. 1968 Latah in Java: A Theoretical Paradox. Indonesia 3: 93–104.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gilmour, A. 1902 Latah Among South African Natives. Scottish Medical Journal 10: 18–20.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kenny, M. G. 1978 Latah: The Symbolism of a Putative Mental Disorder. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 2: 209–231. 1983 Paradox Lost: The Latah Problem Revisited. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 171: 159–167. (Reprinted in this volume.)

    Google Scholar 

  • Murphy, H. B. M. 1973 History and Evolution of Syndromes: The Striking Case of Latah and Amok. In M. Hammer, K. Salzinger, and S. Sutton (eds.), Psychopathology. New York: John Wiley and Sons. 1976 Notes for a Theory on Latah. In W. P. Lebra (ed.), Culture-Bound Syndromes, Ethnopsychiatry, and Alternate Therapies, Vol. 4. Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pfeiffer, W. M. 1971 Die Latah-artigen Reaktionen. In W. M. Pfeiffer (ed.), Transkulturelle Psychiatrie. Stuttgart: Thieme.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shirokogoroff, S. M. 1935 The Psychomental Complex of the Tungus. London: Paul, Trench, and Trubner.

    Google Scholar 

  • Simons, R. C. 1980 The Resolution of the Latah Paradox. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 168: 195–206. (Reprinted in this volume.)

    Google Scholar 

  • Spradley, J. P. 1979 The Ethnographic Interview. New York: Holt, Reinehart & Winston.

    Google Scholar 

  • Yap, P. M. 1952 The Latah Reaction: Its Pathodynamic and Nosological Position. Journal of Mental Science 98: 515–564. 1969 The Culture-Bound Reactive Syndromes. In W. Caudill and T. Linn (eds.), Mental Health Research in Asia and the Pacific. Honolulu: East-West Center Press.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 1983 D. Reidel Publishing Company

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Siomons, R.C. (1983). Latah II — Problems with a Purely Symbolic Interpretation. In: Simons, R.C., Hughes, C.C. (eds) The Culture-Bound Syndromes. Culture, Illness, and Healing, vol 7. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-5251-5_6

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-5251-5_6

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht

  • Print ISBN: 978-90-277-1859-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-94-009-5251-5

  • eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive