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9-14-10 - The Supernatural and Social Control Sickness as...

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The Supernatural and Social Control Sickness as Punishment Society’s way of sanctioning socially unacceptable behavior Sorcery fills the void when responsibility for the resolution of conflict hasn’t been clearly assigned – creates stability because socially unacceptable behavior results in sickness Whiting hypothesized that sorcery when used to explain sickness was the way in which society kept behaviors in line and punished transgressors. Fear of sorcery itself can be understood as mechanism for maintaining the social order. Certain identities are being punished. In Philippines with courts and police – sorcery allegations ran rampant In cases for adultery, for cases in expressing and resolving cases where there was no formal institution to resolve the conflict. The conflict itself is attributed to sorcery. Functionalism – everything serves a function Focus on cultural mechanisms that ensure social stability Tlal Asad – Anthropology and the Colonial Encounter We need to understand implications of colonialism. We need to apologize b/c of inequality instead of justify inequalities and colonialism. Not all rituals are beneficial and good. Cannot make this assumption that stability is good for everyone. Who benefits in a ritual? When is stability a good thing? When is it oppressing other? PAY ATTENTION TO POWER.
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