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Altered States/Dissociation
Record Type: Review   ID: 744

Altered States of Consciousness and Mental Health: A Cross-Cultural Perspective

Ward, Colleen A. (Ed.).

Ward states that this book attempts to assist the development of scholarship in the field by presenting various perspectives on ASCs and mental health and by placing them within the boundaries of cross-cultural psychology. This seems particularly appropriate as cross-cultural psychologists acknowledge that their goal is to "bring the total range, the broad variability and all possible differences exhibited in human behavior within the scope of psychological science" (Berry, 1980, p. 5) and to incorporate a wide range of methodological approaches in this pursuit (Triandis & Berry, 1980). The book is in four parts. The first considers important theoretical and methodological issues in the study of altered states of consciousness; the second and third link altered states of consciousness and mental health by focusing on both therapeutic and pathological aspects of ASCs. The final section concentrates on models and methods, highlighting a variety of paradigms for the study of ASCs and diverse methodological approaches.

The titles and authors of the chapters, all of which were prepared specifically for this volume, are as follows: "The Cross-Cultural Study of Altered States of Consciousness and Mental Health," by Colleen A. Ward; "From Disease to Discourse: Remarks on the Conceptualization of Trance and Spirit Possession, by Michael Lambek; "'Ravished of a Fiend': Demonology and Medieval Madness," by Simon Kemp; "Possession Syndrome in India," by C.R. Chandra Shekar; "Hypnosis, Demonic Possession, and Multiple Personality: Strategic Enactments and Disavowals of Responsibility for Actions," by Nicholas P. Spanos; "Possession and Exorcism: Psychopathology and Psychotherapy in a Magico-Religious Context," by Colleen A. Ward; "Religious Experiences as Self-Healing Mechanisms," by Jean-Pierre Valla and Raymond H. Prince; "Therapeutic Use of Altered States of Consciousness in Contemporary North American Indian Dance Ceremonials," by Wolfgang G. Jilek; "A Call to Heal: Entry Patterns in Brazilian Mediumship," by Stanley Krippner; "Healing and Transformation: Perspectives on Development, Education, and Community," by Richard Katz; "Altered States of Consciousness, Magical Thinking, and Psychopathology: The Case of Ludwig Staudenmaier," by Leonard Zusne; "Self-Presentation in Malaysian Spirit Seances: A Dramaturgical Perspective on Altered States of Consciousness in Healing Ceremonies," by Raymond L.M. Lee; "Stressing Social Change and Songhay Possession," by Paul Stoller; and "Power and Hallucinogenic States of Consciousness Among the Moche: An Ancient Peruvian Society," by Marlene Dobkin de Rios.

Publisher Information:Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1989. 316p. Author Index: 301-306; Chap. bibl; 3 figs; Subject Index: 307-312; 1 table
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