Investigating the Existence of CBS Essay

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Investigating the Existence of CBS

The primary aim for International Classification of Disorder is to be objective and universal so that it can be used with all countries. According to ICD culture bound syndrome does not exist, rather it is a local variation of universal disorders. ICD do not have a definition for culture bound syndrome, whereas the DSM has a definition for culture bound syndrome. So, those who are absolutist favour this by saying, all culture bound syndrome’s takes form in different cultures, and that the underlying disorder is the same. Therefore, the behaviour does not matter, what matters is the underlying disorder.

The first school of thought is the cultural relativist
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They have no pains what so ever and they become a full person.

The DSM defines culture bound syndrome as ‘locality specific, re-current and aberrant’. However this definition is too wide and can lead to many interpretation of it. Firstly, ‘locality specific’ some culture bound syndrome’s are found in quite a large number of cultures. ‘Aberrant and recurrent’, to whose criteria? Also, the word ‘culture’ can be criticised because cultures can form within a culture, which are sub-cultures. So the word ‘culture bound syndrome’ is disapproved.

The second is the Universal view which focuses on underlying disorder and the expression of the culture bound syndrome. It states that same disorder is present in all cultures; however the expressions differ because of culture. Therefore it states Western classification of disorders can relate to all societies when clinicians can find out the way psychological disorder are expressed in different cultures. They argue that some cases are culture bound syndrome and some are not. This distinction is made through their criteria of uniqueness and great diversity of the underlying disorder.

Cases such as Latah, where dissociative or trancelike behaviour is displayed, Amock, where an outburst of aggression takes place followed by experiences of amnesia, and Ghost Sickness, where there is preoccupation with death, are all culture bound

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