Tags » Mary Douglas

Ghost in the Machine

I’ve been thinking about identity. I came across this:

[O]nly ten percent of the DNA present within our bodies belongs to our own cells; the rest resides within the ten to one hundred trillion bacteria and other organisms of several hundred species which inhabit our bodies.¹

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The Enjo Demo: a ritual transformation from a history of filth

I recently went to an Enjo demonstration (party?). I can’t say that I’m a convert, but you have to wonder since over 250 years have passed since the Industrial Revolution, something had to be done about improvements in home cleaning. 2,021 more words


Browny-locks and the Three Bears

“Mommy, I can’t see the bear inside her,” my 11-year old daughter said after an especially salty interaction with someone.  “I’ll keep looking, though.” 723 more words


Shabbat Tazria-Metzora: Time Out

This week’s double parashah reflects a fundamental understanding of ancient Israelite religion – and we are not sure that we know what it is. Between parashat Tazria and parashat Metzora, we are presented for four solid chapters of VaYikra (Leviticus) with rules of what anthropologist Mary Douglas called “purity and danger” in her book of the same name. 529 more words

Misunderstood Art

Polonius: (To Hamlet) What do you read, my lord?

Hamlet: Words, words, words.

(Hamlet II, ii, 192-3)

Nobody mistakes a game of football for anything else; there is never the question that it might not be a game of football or that it might be about something other than football. 531 more words

Culture Notes

Don't Go There

Purity and Danger: An Analysis  of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo
Mary Douglas

I have anthropology envy.

Spend any time around here and you’ll quickly realize that while I jump all over the map my foundation lies in the social sciences. 887 more words