The Feiticeiro/a and the Categorical ‘Fetishist’: Sexuality Prescribed Through Psychiatric Classifications



In seeking to find a solid paradigm for the Feiticeiro/a character, it is tempting to approach the established psychiatric categories. Unfortunately, many of these suggest that people are ineffably different from others and that people will behave according to type in a predictable, even inevitable way. This chapter explores the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which merely re-inscribes essentialist and determinist tendencies by means of processes akin to the phenomenon of cross-linguistic influence and linguistic fixity. The chapter explores further how this is embedded in the category of ‘fetishism’, ‘fetishistic transvestism’ and ‘transvestic fetishism’, which contain certain problematic vestigial tails of Freudian categories that make the psychiatric definitions of ‘fetishism’ unsuitable as a foundation for the Feiticeiro/a character.

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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cape Peninsula University of TechnologyCape TownSouth Africa

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