Scientizing Bangladeshi psychiatry

Parallelism, enregisterment, and the cure for a magic complex

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article combines textual, videotape, historical, and ethnographic evidence to describe the Bangla psychiatric register and its enregisterment. Enregisterment is a process "through which a linguistic repertoire becomes differentiable [and] ... socially recognized" (Agha 2003:231). The emergence of psychiatric registers in Europe and, later, Bangladesh bore the particular burden of psychiatry's "magic complex" - its need to convince a skeptical public that its perceived associations with magic and religion were finished, vanquished in part by discursive measures, focused on a scientizing drive. Psychiatric Bangla appears to involve the sort of pervasive use of parallelism normally associated with ritual texts. This indicates a profound hybridity that may contribute to the psychiatric unease epitomized in the magic complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-114
Number of pages24
JournalLanguage in Society
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2008

Fingerprint

psychiatry
Bangladesh
religious behavior
Religion
linguistics
evidence
Magic
Psychiatry
Enregisterment
Parallelism

Keywords

  • Bangladesh
  • Classification
  • Enregisterment
  • Linguistic anthropology
  • Natural kinds
  • Parallelism
  • Poetics
  • Psychiatry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Language and Linguistics

Cite this

Scientizing Bangladeshi psychiatry : Parallelism, enregisterment, and the cure for a magic complex. / Wilce Jr, James M.

In: Language in Society, Vol. 37, No. 1, 01.2008, p. 91-114.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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