In an attempt to discover how the phenomenon of amok is viewed within
its indigenous culture, the authors studied and interviewed 21 subjects in
West Malaysia who were labeled as amok. This investigation showed that both
the subjects and the Malay culture view amok as psychopathology, that amok
cases are disposed of in line with this view, and that the behavior of the
amok person conforms to social expectations of the phenomenon. Despite
cultural proscriptions, however, the act is purposive and motivated and is
subtly sanctioned by Malay society.