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Journal: International Journal of Advanced Research (Vol.9, No. 7)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 356-366

Keywords : Trisomy 21 Social Representations Cotonou Tͻxͻsu;

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Downs syndrome is a birth defect that affects some children whose parents hide from birth. Known in Benin under the name tͻxͻsu, is trisomy 21 also called Down syndrome or mongolism a disease as perceived by Western medicine? Social representations defined as the images of perception developed by the communities to define a situation will make it possible to study this congenital reality in Cotonou because, in this West African city, the presence of a child with Downs syndrome in a family gives rise to several interpretations. Indeed, people with Downs syndrome are assimilated to vodùn divinity and are called Tͻxͻsu which literally means king of the waters. This work aims to analyze the social representations of Downs syndrome in Cotonou. Qualitative in nature, the investigation involved documentary research, direct observation, in-depth interviews and life stories. The survey took place in Cotonou from April 2020 to March 2021. The reasoned choice sampling and the route technique led to the selection of 46 actors from various socio-cultural groups. The triangulation of the data collected led to the following results: first the anomaly is not in itself a disease according to the actors and does not relate to any popular nosology, except the popular etiological register which inscribes it in a supernatural dimension then, the child with Downs syndrome in a family is a source of blessing with presumed consequences (brings well-being to a model family or restores the social order broken by the transgression of social rules) or source of curse calling for a spiritual sanction finally, the management of trisomy 21 is multifaceted and involves several actors who perceive this congenital anomaly in different ways depending on what their culture conveys.

Last modified: 2021-09-01 14:17:16