Wednesday, March 17, 2010
But...what is "idea of the person"?
The idea of a person as a being represented in himself is quite contemporary. It got a relationship with the need of naming and giving a meaning to the different categories of subjects. This idea is also a social construction. "At the same time this idea differs from a society to another and cannot exist at all, in some of them."(MAUSS, 1974:209).
The word "person" got it´s origin on the ancient greek (mask, persona) and latin (per sonare), going through some different meanings along the times. Yet taking reference to the words of Marcel Mauss, "from ritual character, persona, person, happens to be the citizen-subject (ancient Roma) with nomen, praenomen e cognomen (family position) and social status. After the begining of Christianism, was added to the idea of the citizen-subject the idea of an ethical and moral subject, embed in feelings and conciousness of his ancient life history. Only from two centuries ago, the notion of person begun to incorporate the "category of I", as a "simbolic construction of meanings wich men Do, concerning the sense of themselves" (BRANDÃO, 1987:27).
This way, the idea of person is changing through times inside the historic-social-cultural context in wich is created.
For Geertz (2000:91),
“Sometimes the notions that people have about what is to be a person, may appear, from our poin of view, quite strange. Some believe that persons fly from one side to another, during the night, in a shape of a glowworm;... other believe to share their faith with doppel-ganger aninals, in a way that, when the animal get sick or die, they too get sick or die(...) To understand the outher conceptions is necessary that we leave our conceptons behind and seek the other´s experiences in relationship with their own conception of the "I" .”
The idea of the autistic person unders the sight of traditional medicine:
In 1943, Leo Kanner, autrian M.D., while observing some children with a different behavior from the usual schizofrenia, defined them as carring a level of "child autism", and about them, he said:
"... the fundamental disorder is the inaptitude of the childern to stablish normal relationships with people and to react to certain situations...their parents refere to them as been always auto-suficient, like in a shell, acting like there was nobody present...giving an impressionof silent wisdom..."(In: DOMINIQUE, 2001:32)
Kanner will add aswell the wish for the unchange (nothing shall change) and the language pathology, wich when it is present (estimatives says that 50% of the autists does not aquire language)does not posses, and for a long time, comunication value.
From 1944 on, the Psichoanalysis, through wich one of their representative, Bruno Betellheim, enlighttened other perspectives about the autistic subject, imagining them as a kind of an "Empty Fortress". Other representative, Francis Tustin, conceived the autistic matter as a "bottled child", wich lives in a kind of "black hole". Donald Meltzer, described the autist as " a person falling apart, where the "I" does not have coerence anymore". Another british psychoanalist, Esther Bick, describes the autist as a person wich is covering himself with a "second skin".
From the point of view of the Etnopsychoanalisis, one of their representatives, Tobie Nathan, while observing migrants families with autistic relatives, stablish that the culture and the psychism "work in an assossiative way", and afirms that: "It is not enough to belong to a bilological specimen, it is needed, beyond that, to be part of a cultural group, wich...have an especific way of coesion... of exchange with other groups".