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7167-- HÄUSLER, CHRISTIAN

Abweichung und Außenseitertum. Die Ngäbe West-Panamas im Spiegel von Norm und Devianz
(Curupira 22)
Marburg: Curupira 2006
447 pp., Euro 23,-; ISBN 3-8185-0430-X
Keywords: Ngäbe, deviance, marginalization, mestizos, norms, soft labeling, status enhancement, outsiders

Deviance and being an outsider. The Ngäbe of Western Panama between norm and deviance
##Based on the argument that the scientific investigation of how a given society is treating deviance and considers it able to present important perceptions on a society as a whole, this dissertation focuses on deviant behavior and marginal life styles. First of all a theoretical approach towards the subject is conducted, using a critical valuation of different scientific theories of deviance. Subsequently, presenting as an ethnographic example the Ngäbe Indians of Western Panama, Häusler examines their specific cultural exposure to deviance and deviants, considering certain areas of their life and distinct cultural institutions such as family, religion, beliefs in witchcraft and relations to whites and mestizos. By researching the deviant and marginal, represented here in the case of the Ngäbe, the author provides an approach to a foreign culture that accentuates violations instead of denying them and offering a purely idealized description.## Häusler introduces his topic by describing three "deviant" poets (Trakl, Rimbaud, Genet), then deals with deviance in the disciplines of sociology and criminology and the study of outsiders in anthropology. Conclusions of this entire field lead to the design of the Ngäbe study, in which (after introducing this group in basic features) the indigenous outsider category of "el abandonado" is described, soft labeling, status enhancement and marginalization among Ngäbe as a reaction on marginal people. The last part deals with religion and deviance and collective stigmatization, followed by a re-interpretation of deviance etc. in the light of the findings.

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