Purity and Danger by Mary Douglas

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Mary Douglas’s Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo is a modern masterpiece of anthropology. Through a complex and sophisticated reading of ritual, religion and lifestyle, Douglas challenged Western ideas of pollution, making clear how the context and social history is essential. It demonstrated the relevance of anthropological enquiries to an audience outside her immediate academic circle, and has since been listed as one of the hundred most influential books since the Second World War.

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