Afflictions pp 111-133 | Cite as

Family Victim: Encountering Deviance and Representing Intersubjectivity

  • Robert Lemelson
  • Annie Tucker
Part of the Culture, Mind, and Society book series (CMAS)


The ethnographic film Family Victim explores the bi-directionality of cultural and family context in the development of someone behaviorally quite different from the norm. Estu is the so-called “bad coconut” of a respected Javanese family. His disruptive patterns of conduct have stressed his relationships and threatened his marriage, eliciting multiple explanatory models for his “troubled and troubling” life course, including the Indonesian idioms of distress amok/ngamuk and spirit possession, and the globalized folk diagnosis of psychopathy. By tracking the anthropologist’s attempts to understand Estu’s deviance and his family’s response to it, the film and the chapter demonstrate the forms of analytic consciousness an anthropologist goes through in making sense of a subject, and illustrate how the intersubjective reality that takes shape influences relationships, the filmmaking process, and the finished film.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Lemelson
    • 1
  • Annie Tucker
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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