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Shamanism and Schizophrenia: A State-Specific Approach to the "Schizophrenia Metaphor" of Shamanic States

Richard Noll
American Ethnologist
Vol. 10, No. 3 (Aug., 1983), pp. 443-459
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/644263
Page Count: 17
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Shamanism and Schizophrenia: A State-Specific Approach to the
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Abstract

Shamanism and schizophrenia are examined as altered states of consciousness. A state-specific approach to the phenomenology of these altered states is employed to demonstrate that the existence in the anthropological literature of the "schizophrenia metaphor" of shamanism and its altered states is untenable. A current psychiatric diagnostic manual is utilized to show that significant phenomenological differences exist between the shamanic and schizophrenic states of consciousness. [shamanism, schizophrenia, altered states of consciousness, spirit possession, ethnopsychiatry, psychological anthropology]

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