Ruby Rohrlich (rohrlich@GWIS2.CIRC.GWU.EDU)
Sun, 7 May 1995 20:15:35 -0400

I am also uncertain as to what is being asked. The apparent presumption
is a universal consensus about "normality," from which definitions of
"abnormality" would derive, and
upon which all cultures would agree, which is obviously impossible. Ruby

On Sun, 7 May 1995, Read, Dwight ANTHRO wrote:

> Diez writes:
> "How about cultural influence, does it produces abnormal personalities?
> Setting aside the biological/genetic factors and focus only on the formation
> of the member in a particular culture."
> I am a bit uncertain as to what is being asked. I take it the question is:
> if we consider only individuals who are "normal" from a biological/genetic
> viewpoint, does cultural influence on such persons lead to abnormal
> personalities? This seems to presume an absolute measure of "abnormal
> personality" which can be used even after all instances of so-called abnormal
> personality which arise from biological/genetic factors are removed. If this
> is a correct reading of the question, then delineation of these absolute
> measures of "abnormal personalities" and what comes under them needs to be
> resolved, I think, before one can say anything about "cultural influence."
> On the other hand, if the question has to do with cultural categorization of
> behaviors as abnormal, then clearly culture does "produce" abnormal
> personalities. Henry Selby's book on the Zapotec may be relevant to this
> dicussion (the title escapes me at the moment).
> D. Read