Author(s) Carr, John E.
Year 1978
Title Ethno-behaviorism and the culture-bound syndromes: The case of amok
Published in Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, Vol. 2, No. 3
Pages 269–293
Also published in Simons, Ronald C. & Hughes, Charles C. (eds.): The Culture-Bound Syndromes - Folk Illnesses of Psychiatric and Anthropological Interest; Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dodrecht, 1985. (p. 199–223)
ISBN 9789027718587
DOI 10.1007/BF00051007
Abstract The phenomenon of amok is reviewed in order to demonstrate the heuristic value of an ethno-behavioral model of culture-bound syndromes. The notion that culture-bound syndromes share underlying common disease forms is rejected. Instead, the ethno-behavioral model postulates that culture-bound syndromes consist of culturally specific behavioral repertoires legitimated by culturally sanctioned norms and concepts, but with both behavior and norms acquired in accordance with basic principles of human learning universal to all cultures. Consistent with this model, amok is shown to be a common behavioral pathway for multiple precipitants (which may or may not include disease pathology), but with a distinct form and conceptualization which can be traced to the social learning practices and beliefs of the Malay.
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