Purity and Danger by Mary Douglas

A Report by Victoria Caplan

Background on Mary Douglas and Purity and Danger

Biographical Information – mostly taken from Mary Douglas: an Intellectual Biography by Richard Fardon. Routledge: 1999.

photo of Mary douglasPhoto from the University of Pennsylvania's Almanac, v. 46, no. 27, April 4, 2000. On her reception of an honorary degree.

Purity and Danger "“Political power is usually held precariously and primitive rulers are no exception” - p. 3  - Fundamental to most of her later thoughts on the nature of organizations and societies.

Dirt (Pollution)


Magic, Ritual, and Religion

Them and Us

Ways Pollution Behaviors Work


 "Pollution symbols are necessary as the use of black in any depiction whatsoever. Therefore we find corruption enshrined in sacred places and times”

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last revised 8 July 2002
(C) Victoria F. Caplan