Troubled Minds: On the Cultural Construction of Mental Disorder and Normality in Southern Malaŵi (Paperback)

Troubled Minds: On the Cultural Construction of Mental Disorder and Normality in Southern Malaŵi By Arne S. Steinforth Cover Image
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Description


Every society has its own definition of a normal and an abnormal human condition. For persons living with mental disorders, these concepts have a tremendous impact. This study investigates how the abnormal mind is culturally defined in Malaŵi, South-Eastern Africa. Based on anthropological techniques such as interviews, participant observation, and archive research, it explores the different social dimensions of mental disorder - e.g. its reflection in traditional dance rituals, in behavioural rules during pregnancy, or in the healing ministry of independent churches. It demonstrates how local explanations of mental disorder - be it witchcraft, an angry ancestor, or the will of God - determine the social acceptance of an affected person's condition. Recent processes of cultural change, however, strengthen the pluralism of Malaŵian religious landscape, opening the local debate to an ever wider range of interpretations.
Product Details
ISBN: 9783631587171
ISBN-10: 3631587171
Publisher: Peter Lang Gmbh, Internationaler Verlag Der W
Publication Date: July 27th, 2009
Pages: 334
Language: English