Flashcards in Week 3 - Symbolism Deck (10):
What different forms do symbolic orders take?
Food prohibitions, Spatial position, Colour, Body Modifications, Speech
Give an example of food prohibition.
In India your caste determines what you can eat, and who you can eat with. Your caste is determined by your occupation, for example a carpenter of the Middle class is a vegetarian.
How do food prohibitions and society relate to each other?
Control of what goes into and out of the body creates a sort of social control. Elaborate control of food = Elaborate social order
Explain the social symbolism of spatial position?
House interiors express hierarchical relations, Gender relations and host-guest relations. For example in a Maori eharenui the locals sleep on the left side/ or noa side, where as the visitors sleep on the right/ por tape side. In Fijian houses there is a female side and a male side, each containing objects drelating to each (eg: kitchen area and products on female side). Older sons typically sleep on the 'chiefly side' and the younger sons with the woman on the 'land side'.
Who pioneered the study of colour symbolism?
Explain the Ndembu Colour Triad and how this shows that colour meanings are not universal through a comparison to China?
Red in Ndembu means blood, maleness and danger where as in China it means good luck. White on the other hand is seen as bad luck in China and good luck in Ndembu.
Explain the social symbolism of body modifications.
Styles of Hair can be seen as a body modification as it is biological and private. It is also easily modified and very visible; it sends signals to other people, creating opinions, ideas and a image. A common symbolism in societies is that an excess of hair is linked to animality and being outside of the society. Shaved heads reflect a state of ritual purity. Therefore controlled hair = Social control.
What did Mary Douglas suggest about purity and dirt?
That Dirt is 'matter out of place'. For example putting your bottom on the table is considered as dirty, however your bottom in general is not seen this way. When things are out of the social order they become dirty. Dirtiness = social disorder; Cleanliness = social order.
Explain the social symbolism of speech?
Accents and pronunciation distinguish geographical origins and social position. For example up upper class citizens tend to pronounce their words more accurately and use correct sentence structure.