Terminologies and definitions of mass hysteria

Get Complete Project Material File(s) Now! »

Data analysis

Burns and Grove (2007:586) state that data analysis reduces, organises and gives meaning to data. There are no systematic set of rules for analysing and presenting qualitative data. Moule and Goodman (2009: 344) indicate that various methods can be utilised when analysing qualitative data. The researcher used content analysis which Moule and Goodman (2009 349) describe as a process involving the labeling of data. During content analysis data chunks are labeled (coded) and similar codes are grouped into categories. Themes emerge from categories which are linked together. The data were derived from the verbatim transcriptions from a voice recorder. The voice recorded interviews were transcribed word for word as prescribed by Morse and Field (1995) in Burns and Grove (2007:81). The main task was a search for themes and categories, which revealed commonalities across and within the data.

ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS

Ethics is defined as the study of the code of moral principles which derive from a system of values and beliefs and is concerned with rights and obligations (Brooker 2005:86). Ethical considerations in research studies ensure that the specific study meets prescribed ethical standards. The researcher obtained ethical clearance from the Department of Health Studies Higher Degrees Committee at the University of South Africa (UNISA) (Annexure A). The approval to conduct the study at the study sites was obtained from the Ministry of Education and Training (Annexure E) and the Ministry of Health (Annexure D). The letters requesting permission to conduct the study are attached as Annexures B and C. The researcher respected the participants’ right to voluntary participation and self-determination, fair treatment and protection from harm, and the right to privacy. The ethical considerations are discussed in detail in chapter 3.

Stress

Stress is commonly mentioned as a contributing cause of mass hysteria (Bartholomew & Wessely 2007:657; Lee & Tsai 200947; Smeehuijzen 201248). Some researchers argue that mass hysteria or psychogenic illness is caused by pent-up stress at schools and factories, as well as fear of environmental intoxication (Goh 1987:269; Jones 200049; Nair 200950; Ross 2001:44; Sharma, Jha & Lamsal 201051; Small & Nicholl 1979:721). Some researchers contend that stress related to examinations can cause mass psychogenic illness episodes (Halverson et al 200852; Nair 200953). Nair (2009)54 states that outbreaks of mass hysteria which were reported in three Gauteng, three KwaZulu-Natal schools and one Eastern Cape school in South Africa were described by a child and adolescent psychiatrist as stress-related. News 24 (2001)55 reported on an outbreak of mass hysteria in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Thirty school girls experienced screaming and fainting episodes. The educational officials attributed the encounter as psychological and psychosomatic. The girls were due to sit for a nation-wide end of year examination. Some authors relate mass hysteria to the psychological stress as a result of inhibited emotional ventilation (Sharma et al 2010)56 .

Extraordinary anxiety and fear

Several researchers report extreme anxiety, fear or panic in victims of mass hysteria (Bartholomew 1989:288; Jones 200060; Kokota 2011:74; Sharma et al 201061). The Concise Oxford Dictionary (1964: 51, 441) defines anxiety as an uneasiness, a troubled concern, whereas fear refers to a painful emotion caused by impending danger or evil, it is a state of alarm. Bartholomew (1989:291) points out that the anxiety occurs when ambiguity prevails due to a panic-stricken belief amongst a group of people. Dzokoto and Adams (2005:53) report on a scare of genital shrinkage (Koro) in Western African countries, which resulted in an epidemic. Bartholomew and Wessely (2007:658) and Smeehuijzen (2012)62 mention an incident where nineteen bus passengers and a driver, in Canada, became sick. This was after a young suspect, believed to have come from the Middle East, remarked that the driver’s day would not be good for long.

Socio-economic and political context

Some researchers indicate that the prevailing political status quo can be associated with epidemics of mass hysteria. Bartholomew (1989:289) reported an outbreak of mass hysteria among South African native soldiers. This was due to the political tension between Britain and Germany at the outbreak of World War I, when meteorites were interpreted by natives as German monoplanes about to drop bombs. The outbreak occurred as a result of perceptions and reactions of a portion of a native population to misinformation that filtered through by the wildly circulating respected newspapers. Another common threat lately in the developed countries is the chemical and biological warfare where strange odours and the presumed presence of toxic gases are blamed for the outbreaks of mass hysteria (Bartholomew & Wessley 2007:665; Bartholomew 200577; Bartholomew & Wessely 2002:302; Halvorson et al 200878).

READ  From Employment to Engagement? Stable Jobs, Temporary Jobs, and Cohabiting Relationships 

Mass media

Media coverage has been one of the factors which the literature reports, blows mass hysteria outbreaks out of proportion and causes increased anxiety to the communities where the incidences occur. According to Jones (2000) 84 , and several other researchers, media coverage escalates mass psychogenic illness (Govender 2010:318; Halvorson et al 200885; The Current Science 2002:14). Govender (2010:318) refers to several incidences of mass hysteria in different provinces of South Africa namely, KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State and Gauteng. Pastel (2001:44) adds that the presence of mass media at the scene of an incidence of mass hysteria aggravates and perpetuates the outbreak. However, the Sunday Tribune86 argues that mass media has a role to play during the outbreaks, in order to shoulder its social responsibility during crisis.

Table of contents Page :

  • CHAPTER 1 ORIENTATION TO THE STUDY
    • 1.1 INTRODUCTION
    • 1.2 BACKGROUND TO THE PROBLEM
    • 1.2.1 Lesotho
    • 1.2.1.1 Lesotho health care system
    • 1.2.2 International situation
    • 1.2.3 Regional situation
    • 1.3 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
    • 1.4 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
    • 1. 5 OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
    • 1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
    • 1.7 DEFINITION OF KEY CONCEPTS
    • 1.8 PARADIGMATIC PERSPECTIVE
    • 1.9 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
    • 1.9.1 Research design
    • 1.9.2 Population and sample
    • 1.9.2.1 Sample
    • 1.9.3 Data collection instruments
    • 1.9.4 Data analysis
    • 1.10 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
    • 1.11 CONCLUSION
  • CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW
    • 2.1 INTRODUCTION
    • 2.2 THE PHENOMENON, MASS HYSTERIA
    • 2.2.1 Terminologies and definitions of mass hysteria
    • 2.2.2 Theories of mass hysteria
    • 2.2.2.1 Biological theory
    • 2.2.2.2 Psychological theory (psychoanalytic)
    • 2.2.2.3 Sociological theory (valueadded theory of collective behaviour)
    • 2.2.3 Manifestations of mass hysteria
    • 2.2.3.1 Patterns and types of mass hysteria
    • 2.2.3.2 Characteristics of epidemic mass hysteria
    • 2.2.3.3 Symptoms displayed by victims of mass hysteria
    • 2.2.4 Predisposing factors to mass hysteria
    • 2.2.4.1 Stress
    • 2.2.4.2 Extraordinary anxiety and fear
    • 2.2.4.3 Culture
    • 2.2.4.4 Socioeconomic and political context
    • 2.2.4.5 Mass media
    • 2.2.4.6 Rumours
    • 2.2.5 Settings for mass hysteria
    • 2.3 BASOTHO CULTURE
    • 2.4 CONCLUSION
  • CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
    • 3.1 INTRODUCTION
    • 3.2 STUDY SETTING
    • 3.3 RESEARCH DESIGN
    • 3.3.1 Qualitative research
    • 3.3.2 Descriptive research
    • 3.3.3 Explorative research
    • 3.3.4 Contextual research
    • 3.4 POPULATION AND SAMPLING
    • 3.4.1 Population
    • 3.4.2 Sampling
    • 3.4.2.1 Purposive sampling
    • 3.4.2.2 Sample size
    • 3.5 DATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENTS
    • 3.6 DATA COLLECTION PROCESS
  • CHAPTER 4 DATA PRESENTATION AND LITERATURE CONTROL
    • 4.1 INTRODUCTION
    • 4.2 DATA PRESENTATION: QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS
    • 4.2.1 Theme 1: Clinical manifestation of mass hysteria among the Basotho
    • 4.2.1.1 Physical symptoms
    • 4.2.1.2 Psychological reactions
    • 4.2.1.3 Contagious effect
    • 4.2.2 Theme 2: Interventions used by the Basotho to alleviate mass hysteria
    • 4.2.2.1 Herbal remedies
    • 4.2.2.2 Water splashing
    • 4.2.2.3 Pain infliction
    • 4.2.2.4 Prayer
    • 4.2.2.5 Exorcism
    • 4.2.2.6 Mental health team interventions
    • 4.2.3 Theme 3: The Basotho’s views on mass hysteria
    • 4.2.3.1 Natural illness
    • 4.2.3.2 Supernatural illness
    • 4.2.3.2.1 Evil spirits and witchcraft
    • 4.2.3.2.2 Blasphemy
    • 4.2.3.2.3 Satanism
    • 4.2.4 Theme 4: The effects of mass hysteria on the Basotho
    • 4.5.1 Effects on the individual (victims)
    • 4.5.2 Effects on others
    • 4.5.2.1 Effects on the family
    • 4.5.2.2 Effects on teachers
    • 4.5.2.3 Effects on the community
  • CHAPTER 5 CONCEPTUALISATION: MASS HYSTERIA IN THE BASOTHO CONTEXT
  • CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSIONS, LIMITATIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND GUIDELINES

GET THE COMPLETE PROJECT
MASS HYSTERIA: THE EXPERIENCES OF YOUNG WOMEN IN LESOTHO

Related Posts