8.06.2007

Good Notes on Dirt & Pollution

Couple of nice online summaries of Purity and Danger, Dame Mary Douglas' classic and influential 1966 book on social concepts of pollution and taboo. Douglas is a recently deceased British social anthropologist drawing particularly on Durkheim here in seeing divisions and division-making as fundamental to social order, in this case, the clean and unclean, purity and dirt.

John Durham has a great detailed overview and chapter-by-chapter summary at his website Understanding the Sacred

Victoria Caplan's summary is more a bullet-point-style report.

Excerpts from the actual book are at Google Books.

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