Re: Abnormal behaviour

Nick Corduan (nickc@DORITE.IQUEST.NET)
Mon, 8 May 1995 17:02:19 -0500

Raoul's question does have a meaning behind it, despite the confusion its
wording seems to have created. I think I know what he meant, but if I'm
wrong -- Raoul -- please correct me.

There is (Dwight and Ruby) no necessity for the discussion of an aboslute
definition of what is abnormal, nor a definition upon which all cultures

Simply put, something is "abnormal" is it is "away from the normal." It does
not matter whether there is an objective normal or not for this discussion.
For the question is simply if "culture" in and of itself causes "abnormal
behaviour." Id est, does a prevailing, dominating culture by its very
presence cause some individuals to take actions contrary to that culture.

That can go both ways. To follow up on the example I gave Raoul earlier,
Peruvian witchcraft was seen as abnormal behaviour by the Spanish conquerors,
and the opposite wa also true (Catholicism was seen as abnormal by the

So his question in this context could be phrased as did the dominant Catholic,
Spanish culture lead to an increase in "abberant" witchcraft behaviour; and
did pervasive animistic, Native culture lead to an intensified, "abberant"
Catholic behaviour.


Nick Corduan "...there is as much dignity in tilling
at a field as in writing a poem."
( --Booker T. Washington