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Psychiatry. 1975 May;38(2):145-59.

Saints, Jnun, and Dreams: An essay in Moroccan ethnopsychology.


It is with the effect of an idiom - a psychological idion - and its articulation on the subjective life of the individual that I will be concerned in this paper. My argument is necessarily hypothetical:-1 Human beings as members of a society are provided wiht an idiom by which they structure and evaluate their reality, their world, including themselves, and insofar as the experience of reality can be distinguished from the reality itself their experience of reality, of their world, of themselves. Although this idiom is necessarily expressed through language, it is more than language. Within it are sedimented traditional symbols and values which form the basis for schemata by which reality is interpreted. (These schemata can probably be reduced to a series of propositions about reality which form the basis of what anthropologists call culture.) Not only does the idiom enable the articulation of an explicit psychology but it renders possible the articulation of subjective experience. By "explicit psychology" I mean all commonly recognized assumptions about the nature of the "human psyche." These would include theories of personality, character formation, motivation, cognition, and perception.

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