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“He Who Has the Spirits Must Work a Lot” : A Psycho-Anthropological Account of Spirit Possession in the Dominican Republic

Cardeña, Etzel LU orcid and Schaffler, Yvonne (2018) In Ethos 46(4). p.457-476
Abstract

In this paper we present a multidisciplinary, developmental analysis of a Dominican Republic Vodou servidor (“Marcos”), from childhood to early adulthood, integrating ethnographic observation, field documentation, and anthropological analysis, with relevant constructs from developmental, personality, and clinical psychology. Marcos transitioned from a child with many problems to a young adult who has learnt how to control and adapt dissociative manifestations into a professional role as a Vodou priest. Most empirical studies on spirit possession (SP) have rarely taken a longitudinal, multidisciplinary approach, which may better account for such a complex phenomenon. Adopting such an approach helps make sense of both the continuity and... (More)

In this paper we present a multidisciplinary, developmental analysis of a Dominican Republic Vodou servidor (“Marcos”), from childhood to early adulthood, integrating ethnographic observation, field documentation, and anthropological analysis, with relevant constructs from developmental, personality, and clinical psychology. Marcos transitioned from a child with many problems to a young adult who has learnt how to control and adapt dissociative manifestations into a professional role as a Vodou priest. Most empirical studies on spirit possession (SP) have rarely taken a longitudinal, multidisciplinary approach, which may better account for such a complex phenomenon. Adopting such an approach helps make sense of both the continuity and changes in Marcos, as well as of his community's shifting attitudes towards him. We describe how specific psychological and cultural conditions help explain the change from originally dysfunctional expressions of SP to personally and socially beneficial ones. [anomalous experience, dissociation, gender, spirit possession, Vodou].

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author
and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
spirit possession, dissociation, attachment, voudu
in
Ethos
volume
46
issue
4
pages
457 - 476
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:85055862986
ISSN
0091-2131
DOI
10.1111/etho.12216
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
4e23c553-b242-432a-9355-c8abf9c39810
date added to LUP
2018-11-20 13:51:02
date last changed
2021-10-06 04:49:25
@article{4e23c553-b242-432a-9355-c8abf9c39810,
  abstract     = {<p>In this paper we present a multidisciplinary, developmental analysis of a Dominican Republic Vodou servidor (“Marcos”), from childhood to early adulthood, integrating ethnographic observation, field documentation, and anthropological analysis, with relevant constructs from developmental, personality, and clinical psychology. Marcos transitioned from a child with many problems to a young adult who has learnt how to control and adapt dissociative manifestations into a professional role as a Vodou priest. Most empirical studies on spirit possession (SP) have rarely taken a longitudinal, multidisciplinary approach, which may better account for such a complex phenomenon. Adopting such an approach helps make sense of both the continuity and changes in Marcos, as well as of his community's shifting attitudes towards him. We describe how specific psychological and cultural conditions help explain the change from originally dysfunctional expressions of SP to personally and socially beneficial ones. [anomalous experience, dissociation, gender, spirit possession, Vodou].</p>},
  author       = {Cardeña, Etzel and Schaffler, Yvonne},
  issn         = {0091-2131},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {457--476},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Ethos},
  title        = {“He Who Has the Spirits Must Work a Lot” : A Psycho-Anthropological Account of Spirit Possession in the Dominican Republic},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/etho.12216},
  doi          = {10.1111/etho.12216},
  volume       = {46},
  year         = {2018},
}