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Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2013 Aug;59(5):419-30. doi: 10.1177/0020764012462660. Epub 2012 Oct 17.

Prevention of demoralization in prolonged bicultural conflict and interaction: the role of cultural receptors I - description of a natural experiment.

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  • 1Yale University School of Medicine, Cheshire, CT 06410-0573, USA. johndefig@sbcglobal.net

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This article examines how symbols and sentiments are exchanged to produce a synthesis of two cultures in the context of prolonged bicultural conflict and interaction, thereby minimizing or preventing sociocultural disintegration and the resulting demoralization. This process will be shown to be anchored on the discovery of certain thematic areas (cultural receptors) in which social roles or cultural mandates are missing, unclear, ambiguous or congruent.

MATERIAL:

The setting of this research is the history of Goa, a former Portuguese state on the western coast of India, where the exchange between the Portuguese and Indian cultures lasted longer than four centuries (1510-1961). Both published and unpublished sources were studied.

DISCUSSION:

From 1510, the year of the beginning of the Portuguese rule, until 1540, the local traditions and leadership patterns were respected. This was followed by a period of religious intolerance during which attempts were made to encourage Hindus to convert to Christianity and to wipe out the bicultural interaction. Finally a new era of tolerance and cultural integration started around 1773 and continued until 1961. The bicultural interaction persisted and a hybrid culture developed around cultural receptors.

CONCLUSIONS:

The history of Portuguese Goa is a natural experiment that allows us to examine the role played by cultural receptors in the adaptation to acculturative stress.

KEYWORDS:

Acculturation; Goa; demoralization; history; stress

PMID:
23079860
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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