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dc.contributor.author Poltorak, Michael en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2009-12-01T23:35:24Z en_US
dc.date.available 2009-12-01T23:35:24Z en_US
dc.date.issued 2007 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Poltorak, M. 2007. Nemesis, Speaking, and Tauhi Vaha‘a: Interdisciplinarity and the Truth of “Mental Illness” in Vava‘u, Tonga. The Contemporary Pacific 19 (1): 1-36. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1043-898X en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10125/13975 en_US
dc.description.abstract The people of Vava‘u, Tonga, manage to deal with most incidences of “mental illness” without resorting to institutionalization or overt stigmatization. The terms used to describe unusual behavior, though pejorative in the eyes of psychiatrist Dr Mapa Puloka, are contestable and negotiable. Through the creative use of a multiplicity of explanations, people have influence over the potential stigma to suffering relatives. People’s sensitivity to attributions of “mental illness” is born of Vavauan use of language to tauhi vaha‘a (evoke and intensify relatedness). This socially constitutive use of language contrasts with the referential language in much of the social science and medical literature that informs mental health policy. Revealing its origin in the experience of vä (relatedness) is key to creating an interdisciplinary space to discuss the late presentation of Tongans to mental health services in Tonga and New Zealand. This paper answers the widely recognized need for more qualitative, epistemologically sensitive, and interdisciplinary work on Tongan experience of mental illness through focusing on the particular case of an eccentric in Vava‘u known as ‘Ahiohio. As this man shares remarkable similarities with Manu (Epeli Hau‘ofa’s subversive mouthpiece of anti-absolutism), the responses to and theories of ‘Ahiohio’s behavior enable discussion on the contrast and effects of Vavauan and, more broadly, medical and positivist ideas of truth. en_US
dc.language.iso en-US en_US
dc.publisher University of Hawai'i Press en_US
dc.publisher Center for Pacific Islands Studies en_US
dc.subject mental illness en_US
dc.subject Tonga en_US
dc.subject indigenous psychiatry en_US
dc.subject language ideologies en_US
dc.subject Pacific epistemologies en_US
dc.subject relatedness en_US
dc.subject modernity en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Oceania -- Periodicals. en_US
dc.title Nemesis, Speaking, and Tauhi Vaha‘a: Interdisciplinarity and the Truth of “Mental Illness” in Vava‘u, Tonga en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.type.dcmi Text en_US

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