A life crisis and its management a case study from north India
Seminar for Volkerkunde, Universitate Hamburg Rothenbaumchauasee 64a, 2000 Hamburg 13, Germany
Beatrix Pfleiderer Seminar for Volkerkunde, Universitate Hamburg Rothenbaumchauasee 64a, 2000 Hamburg 13 Germany
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
The behaviour of so called traditional patients has been the topic of anthropological research for the last thirty years. Myths have been and constructed and rejected, one being that patients with chronic and less incapacitating illness see rather traditional healers than allopathic medical treatment. The case study with which we are concerned in this paper is the illness of a young girl who is the age in which she is expected to accept a marriage contract. Since she is obviously not willing to do she adopts an illness behaviour which enables her to postpone all role expectations of her age group. She performs a behaviour which is socially accepted and guarantees all the support from her family which she needs and requires. The paper investigates the causes, reason and development of her spirit possession and relates it to the cultural grammar of the patient's group of reference. The data of this case study were obtained at a Muslim shrine in Gujarat, India.