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Ritual Chapter 3- Week 5 Miner- Body Ritual Among the Nacirema Gordon- Female Circumcision in Egypt …

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Presentation on theme: "Ritual Chapter 3- Week 5 Miner- Body Ritual Among the Nacirema Gordon- Female Circumcision in Egypt …"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ritual Chapter 3- Week 5 Miner- Body Ritual Among the Nacirema Gordon- Female Circumcision in Egypt …

2 Ritual Rituals involve: Rituals involve: –Predictability –Some times change Turner’s definition Turner’s definition –“Ritual is a stereotyped sequence of activities involving gestures, words & objects, performed in a sequestered place & designed to influence magical forces on behalf of actor’s goals & interests.” Durkheim’s definition Durkheim’s definition –“True nature of religion is ritual participation.” Wallace’s definition Wallace’s definition –“Ritual is the primary phenomenon of religion, religion in action; the cutting edge of the tool.”

3 Types of Rituals –Rites of passage: passage from one state of life to a new state of life Involves recognition of change Involves recognition of change 3 stages involving separating, luminal space, outside normal, aggregation to normal. 3 stages involving separating, luminal space, outside normal, aggregation to normal. –Separation –Liminal –Aggregation –Rites of intensification continuously reoccur continuously reoccur Recognition of the continuality of life Recognition of the continuality of life

4 Wallace’s five ritual categories Technological ritual- control nature Technological ritual- control nature Therapy & anti-therapy rituals- control health Therapy & anti-therapy rituals- control health Ideological rituals- try to control behavior Ideological rituals- try to control behavior –Rites of passage –Rites of intensification –Taboos –Rites of rebellion Salvation rituals- control one’s fate/destiny, control one’s identity Salvation rituals- control one’s fate/destiny, control one’s identity Revitalization rituals- control community’s fate, identity. Revitalization rituals- control community’s fate, identity.

5 Rituals as Performance Ritual as a theater Ritual as a theater –Acting but not “just pretending” –Games, sports, theater and rituals share basic qualities EfficacyEntertainment Performance

6 Rites of Passage Mark the transition from one stage of life, season, or event to another. Mark the transition from one stage of life, season, or event to another. “Life cycle” or “Life Crisis” rituals “Life cycle” or “Life Crisis” rituals –i.e. birth, initiation, marriage & death. –Threefold structure Separationtransitionincorporation Preliminalliminalpostliminal

7 Body Ritual Among the Nacirema Chapter 3 Lehman & Myer By Horace Miner

8 Body Rituals Among the Nacirema Nacirema Culture Nacirema Culture -poorly understood -background -ritual activity -focus on the physical body

9 Body Ritual Among the Nacirema Body Ritual Body Ritual -underlying approach to the body -underlying approach to the body -daily ceremonies and rites -daily ceremonies and rites -shrines -shrines -charms and magical potions -charms and magical potions -specialized practitioners -specialized practitioners -rites of ablution -rites of ablution

10 Body Ritual Among the Nacirema “Holy-Mouth-Men” -Nacirema oral fixation -Nacirema oral fixation -social impact -social impact -mouth-rites -mouth-rites -specialist ceremonial treatment -specialist ceremonial treatment -masochistic tendencies? -masochistic tendencies?

11 Body Ritual Among the Nacirema Latipso -temples of the medicine men -temples of the medicine men -ritual purification -ritual purification -gifts and payment -gifts and payment -exposing the body -exposing the body -temple ceremonies -temple ceremonies -faith -faith

12 Body Ritual Among the Nacirema The “Listener” -witch doctor -witch doctor -susceptibility of children -susceptibility of children -curses and “counter-magic” -curses and “counter-magic”Conclusions -practices based on an aversion to the body -practices based on an aversion to the body -functions ritualized and distorted -functions ritualized and distorted -magic-ridden culture -magic-ridden culture -self-imposed burdens -self-imposed burdens -position of insight? -position of insight?

13 Female Circumcision in Egypt and Sudan: A Controversial Rite of Passage Article by Daniel Gordon Chapter 3- Ritual

14 Outline Female Circumcision in the Arab World -limited literature -growing awareness/activism of “female genital mutilation” -concerns about passivity

15 Female Genitalia Operations Literal circumcision, sunna, “duty” in Arabic Excision or clitoridectomy & “intermediate circumcision” Pharaonic circumcision, tahara forowniyya, “infibulation” Rural and urban approaches to operation Geographic prevalence info Egypt less survey info lower prevalence/more moderate procedures except Nubian south

16 El Dareer’s Survey -extensive statistical survey ( ) -Northern Sudan -type prevalence -education level as a factor -dayas

17 Recognized Women’s Health Concern Egyptian and Sudanese statutes against radical forms El Dareer’s work to educate difficult to assess extent of health problems culture specific issues complications described (not quantified) immediate and chronic concerns childbirth, sex medical and psychological sequelae

18 Endurance of the Practice -public resistance to enforcement -religion and tradition-based rationales -evidence of religious validation? -interplay between doctrine and cultural sense of propriety -rite of passage?

19 Cultural Issues Arabic Code of Modesty separation and seclusion for women culturally conceived idea of female sexuality genital operations as substitutes for total seclusion issues of patrilineal purity and changing conditions Women Advocates role of the daya focus on fertility and de-emphasizing sexuality “enclosedness” assertive and symbolic act controlled by women

20 Other Issues Issues for Opponents culturally embedded solutions peripheral incorporation into health care system WHO “passive stance” Changing Conditions mothers as a barometer for change effects of Westernization/urbanization

21 Cross-Cultural Ethics -integrating concerns and methods -position of advocacy -anthropological perpetuation of a “cover-up” -female genital operations as a test case -a new integrative model? -advocating a positioned approach


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