Geertz, Hildred. Latah in Java: a theoretical paradox

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Publication Information


Title: Latah in Java: a theoretical paradox

Published in: Indonesia -- Vol. 5

Published By: Indonesia -- Vol. 5 Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell Modern Indonesia Project, 1968. 93-104 p.

By line: Hildred Geertz

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2010. Computer File

Culture: Javanese (OE05)

Subjects: Personality disorders (158); Norms (183); Ethnopsychology (828); Theoretical orientation in research and its results (121);

Abstract: This source presents data on the social and cultural context of latah in Java. Latah is a psychological disturbance which includes ôinvoluntary blurting of obscene words and phrases, compulsive imitation of the words or actions of others, and compulsive unquestioning obedience when ordered to perform actions which may be ridiculous, improper, or even dangerousö (pp. 93-94). The author concludes that ôIf it were not for the presence of latah elsewhere in the world, one would be tempted to conclude that the reason for its occurrence in Java is self-evident, that its congruence with Javanese culture sufficiently accounts for its appearance thereö (p. 104).

Document Number: 32

Document ID: oe05-032

Document Type: Journal Article

Language: English

Field Date: 1952-1954

Evaluation: Ethnologist-5

Analyst: Marlene Martin ; Jan Simpson ; 1982

Coverage Date: 1952-1954

Coverage Place: town of Modjokuto (pseudonym), east-central Java, Indonesia

LCSH: Javanese (Indonesian people)


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