Towards a biocultural approach to dissociative consciousness
Interviewed by Arnaud Halloy
biocultural approach, dissociation, ethnography, bio-looping, possession
In this interview, we discuss Rebecca Seligman’s work on dissociative states and possession in Candomblé in the light of a biocultural approach. Normative dimension of ASC is emphasized, and bio-cultural dualism criticized. Possession itself cannot be reduced to a post hoc cultural explanation of a state but should rather be understood as the product of an embodiment – and bio-looping - process fundamentally shaped by sociocultural meanings and practices. Methods of ethnographic enquiry are also touched on, assessing costs and benefits of incorporating psychological and psychophysiological methods into fieldwork for studying possession.