Tags » Mary Douglas

'Waste and the Superfluous' A Fact Sheet

Waste isn’t just about literal garbage, but it is also about ‘matter out of place’ (Douglas 1966). It’s about the value, or lack thereof, that we place on objects and why we throw them away. 192 more words

Zero Waste

“Purity and Danger” by anthropologist Mary Douglas explores tribal culture’s and their hyper emphasis of purity and its relationship to “perceived” danger.  The “danger” is usually the fear of contamination  by new ideas from beyond the pale of their culture but also from within the culture as deviance from within is always present within any culture that has any dynamic quality. 521 more words


Amitai Romm: A Library of Sphincters

Have a breathe in.

Let the mingled molecules of nitrogen, oxygen, argon caress your nose hairs, slip under your epiglottis and tickle the cilia that line your trachea on the way in. 1,095 more words

Artist Profile

Mary Douglas and Scandinav-ious Witches

Mary Douglas, an important English anthropologist, argued that the violations of the body are a sort of symbolic representation of the violation of a wider cultural system; the anxiety of violation relates to the entire societies’ norms being threatened (Stewart & Strathern, 2004). 995 more words

‘Purification as a Public Service’: Anti-Witchcraft Shaving Rituals in Rural Tanzania

*Content Warning* for violence, murder.

According to Green and Mesaki (2005) Tanzania is one of the most ‘fertile grounds’ for witchcraft studies. Witchcraft is often a very real part of everyday life for the 100+ ethnic groups living in the country. 976 more words

Souls & Sacrifices: Witchcraft and the body in West Africa

In West African regions, the body is very much central to ideas of witchcraft. Anthropological analysis can usefully relate this to the work that was conducted by Mary Douglas on purity, pollution and danger, and the connection between body and society. 743 more words

Witchcraft and Social Complexity in "new" South Africa

In South Africa, it is not accurately possible to establish a definition or understanding of the visual traits of a witch, as witches are thought to be seemingly ordinary people with no distinguishing features… which in turn is what makes them so dangerous. 963 more words