Anthro 33: Culture and Communication

  Study Questions for Constructing Panic: The Discourse of Agoraphobia by Lisa Capps and Elinor Ochs. Harvard University Press, 1995.

Ch.1: The Agony of Agoraphobia

  1. What did you learn about agoraphobia in the first chapter? Why is looking at socialization important?
  2. Why do Capps and Ochs argue that one needs recorded material to study agorophobia?

Ch. 2: In Her Own Words

  1. What are the two theories of panic that can be found in Meg's stories?
  2. How are stories "windows on theories"?

Ch. 3: Telling Panic

  1. What is an inciting or initiating event?
  2. What kind of relationship do Capps & Ochs posit between reality and narrative?
  3. How do stories contain theories? Why are they challengeable? What is a "core panic episode"? Give an example.

Ch. 4: A Grammar of Panic

  1. What are the linguistic forms that compose a grammar of panic?

Ch. 5: Accommodation as a Source of Panic

  1. What is the setting of a story? Is the recurrent circumstance that anticipates panic in Meg's stories?
  2. What is Meg's communicative dilemma?

Ch. 6: Non-accommodation as an Outcome of Panic

  1. On what grounds do Capps and Ochs argue that non-accommodation is an outcome of panic?
  2. What does it mean to say that agoraphobia is a communicative disorder?

Ch. 7: Paradoxes of Panic

  1. Explain the two paradoxes: (1) Out of Control Is in Control and (2) It Is Rational to Act Irrational.

Ch. 8: Constructing the Irrational Woman

  1. How does Meg construct her husband, William, as a panopticon?
  2. What does it mean to say that "psychological dispositions exist not in the isolated mind of an individual ... but rather are constructed in interactions between people . " (p. 132)?

Ch. 9: Socializing Emotions

  1. What is Capps and Ochs' definition of "socialization"?
  2. What does the "dead bird" episode illustrate?
  3. What does it mean to say that socialization is "cultural apprenticeship"?

Ch. 10: Socializing Anxiety

  1. How are categorical attributions used by Meg?
  2. How does Meg undermine her children's sense of control?
  3. What does the "Ski lessons story" illustrate?

Ch. 11: Therapeutic Insights

  1. Be prepared to say in what ways an interactionally oriented narrative analysis can provide therapeutic insights for the study of psychological disorders.