Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo

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Taylor & Francis, Sep 6, 2003 - Social Science - 272 pages
2 Reviews
In Purity and Danger Mary Douglas identifies the concern for purity as a key theme at the heart of every society. 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. The book has been hugely influential in many areas of debate - from religion to social theory. But perhaps its most important role is to offer each reader a new explanation of why people behave in the way they do. With a specially commissioned introduction by the author which assesses the continuing significance of the work thirty-five years on, this Routledge Classics edition will ensure that Purity and Danger continues to challenge and question well into the new millennium.

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User Review  - Hebephrene - LibraryThing

This book consists of a lot of squabbling with other anthropologists and one needs to be familiar with the work of those whom Douglas disagrees with to follow much of the early part. Suffice it to say ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - hrissliss - LibraryThing

Written by a social anthropologist, this work studies the way in which religions structure 'pollution' and sacred influences. She analyzes how religions not only create laws, but how those laws have ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Mary Douglas (1921-). One of the most distinguished anthropologists of modern times. Natural Symbols, another of her major works, is also available in Routledge Classics.

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