Wit. Interesting concepts of the interplay between the taboo and the holy, morality and cleanliness, purity and danger; how societies frame their worlds. To see what your friends thought of this book, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo, This book is, of course, a classic. I mean, what does one really say about a classic of structuralist anthropology? Unlike Moore Jr.’s work on purity, Douglas’ theory differs enough from Freud to be considered a separate conceptualization. In that regard Purity and Danger is well within her wheelhouse. In lively and lucid prose she explains its relevance for every reader by revealing its wide-ranging impact on our attitudes to society, values, cosmology and knowledge. A very academic read. I just gave this a quick read-through this time, to get a general overview. The book has been hugely influential in many areas of debate - from religion to social theory. It gave me a new outlook on many women's issues, particularly in studies in religions. If you have an individual subscription to this content, or if you have purchased this content through Pay Per Article within the past 24 hours, you can gain access by logging in with your username and password here: This site uses cookies. Readable, with occasional humorous comments from the author. Ronjon Paul Datta. In any event, there's an easy mastery in the way that Douglas performs what is now a fairly standard maneuver. In lively and lucid prose she explains its relevance for every reader by revealing its wide-ranging impact on our attitudes to society, values, cosmology and knowledge. Purity and Danger, first published in 1966, justly deserves its place as a classic, and the. If you have the appropriate software installed, you can download article citation data to the citation manager of your choice. Gabrys represents Douglas as attentive to dirt as marking the boundaries of systems then presents as Serres as a necessary innovation in this thinking: “We cannot know systems without their dirt, he suggests” (670). It also highlights a broad swath of examples from various cultures and religions. For more information view the SAGE Journals Sharing page. If you haven't heard of record-smashing singer and songwriter Mariah Carey, is there any hope for you? Partly really good and interesting, partly not so much. If you have the appropriate software installed, you can download article citation data to the citation manager of your choice. This is one of my favorite anthropology books, even if I would have preferred less on the Old Testament and more information about contemporary societies and the little taboos of everyday life. But--Douglas’ other contribution is her emphasis on rituals of cleansing and polluting. Login failed. Here's what I got from it: Some faults in methodology (Chapter 3, ‘The Abominations of Leviticus’), but these are acknowledged in the foreword to the 2002 edition (underlining the need to read around the work itself when approaching theses that can be considered classics). Two thumbs up! By the time the book ends, with a discussion of the sacred. By continuing to browse The book has been hugely influential in many areas of debate - from religion to social theory. Dirt is always going to be arbitrarily defined by the society's notion of disorder. Here they are: force dirt into an existing category and treat accordingly; kill; quarantine; mark as dangerous; or treat as a super-signifier (39-40). Data filled, wide-ranging in its scope, and profound in its meditations on the nature of man and his taboos, Mary Douglas's "Purity and Danger" is an important overview of the issue of prohibitions and the sacred from a classic source. If you have access to a journal via a society or association membership, please browse to your society journal, select an article to view, and follow the instructions in this box. Despite its many detractors, I found this book fascinating. I mean, what does one really say about a classic of structuralist anthropology? But perhaps its most … View or download all the content the society has access to. There are sections which are all citation, where no idea is really developed, and then there are sections filled with assertions and assumptions that demand significantly more citation and justification. So, while some of the book has been superseded by more recent research, the book itself still offers a worthwhile insight into how purity and danger plays itself out in cultures both modern and primitive. Brilliant, Mary Douglas is one of the best, wish more people would read this. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. In Purity and Danger Mary Douglas identifies the concern for purity as a key theme at the heart of every society. Social rituals create a reality which would be nothing without them. Interesting concepts of the interplay between the taboo and the holy, morality and cleanliness, purity and danger; how societies frame their worlds. Find an opposition upon which some kind of subordinating value is founded, demonstrate that each side of the opposition ne. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published Douglas uses the term "primitive" too liberally to describe all the communities that aren't as skilled with technology as Western cultures.