The substance of this article is a narrative about a man considered mad in a highland Papua New Guinea society, and about his interaction with his com munity and with an anthropologist who tried unsuccessfully to change the com munity's negative attitude towards him. It is argued that his madness was socially constructed, and cannot be adequately explained using a psychiatric paradigm, even if the psychiatric approach were modified to accommodate cultural differ ence or notions of culture-bound syndromes. It is further argued that the social construction, a dialectic of group and individual praxis, can be analytically con textualized in a moral imperative grounded in the community's kin-ordered mode of production, and can be interpreted as a communal exercise in moral iconography.
Critique of Anthropology Vol. 18, Issue 1, p. 61-81