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Title: A study of crying hysteria and dreaming in Zulu women
Author: Lee, S. G.
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 1954
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In previous research, the commonexistenoe of "crying fits" and stereotyped dreams in Zulu womenhad been e::-tablished. Thi s thesi sis an exploratory attempt to investigate the nature of these fits, the nosological implioations of the condition, their aetiology, and the interrelationship of symptomand the social milieu. A brief account of the Zulu people is given and the literature on the conclitions, small as it is, is deaJ.t with. In the actual investigation, an extensive enquiry was conduoted by means of a questionnaire administered to a hospital population - incidences of crying fits and dre3lIling were thus established on a sample of approximately 500 Zulu, male and female. The influence of social values on the manifest content of dreams was determined, as was the essentially "female" nature of the "Crying Hysteria" investigated. The intensive investigation was carried out on a further sample of the population of the Nqutu district, by means of a 200 item questionnaire, pertinent to the family situation, marital status and duties, reproductive life, medical history, dreaming, history of bewitchment, wishes etc. of the subjeots. The 114 subjects of the intensive investigation were divided into "Crying HYsteric" and "Control" groups, on the basis of' positive or negative answers to the questions "Have you ever suffered from crying fits?". The groups were then compared in detail, on all variables - statistical checks being used whenever possible It was established that the crying fits are closely associated vii th very direct s'y!aptomsof anxiety, and could, under strong social pressure, be associated with a particular symptomof conversion hysteria. In addition there we re links with the dream material and with belief in bewitchment Dreams are shown to be, on occasion, wish fulfilments, and some light is thrown on the formation of dream symbols Some Freudian hypotheses are supported by the data. Discussion of the relevance of the findings to psychopathology and ethnology, and suggestions for future research are included.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available