A Literary Evaluation of Risk and Blame by Anthropologist Mary Douglas

A Literary Evaluation of Risk and Blame by Anthropologist Mary Douglas

In Risk and Blame, Anthropologist Mary Douglas describes the cultural basis for witch hunts in classic societies. "If the witch will be able to do harm or not really, the attribution of a concealed power to hurt is normally a weapon of assault against them..An effective accusation is one that has plenty of credibility for a open public outcry to eliminate the prospect of repeating the destruction." A moral panic starts off with an unspeakable tragedy which sparks an effort to ascribe blame and responsibility. Primarily, accusations flow freely but give attention to those targets who already are the main topic of anxiety. Once one accusation sticks, it becomes much easier to put on charges. Our hurry to judgment overwhelms our capability to rationally evaluate the data. Our need to do something supersedes our capability to anticipate consequences. Moral panic shuts down self-examination at the moment when real problems demand consideration.

Several weeks following the shootings at Columbine SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL in Littleton, Colorado, america Senate Commerce Committee released a group of hearings, chaired by Sen. Sam Brownback ,on the "marketing of violent entertainment to kids." Introducing the investigation, Brownback described, "We aren't here to point fingers but to recognize the sources of cultural pollution and seek solutions." The expression, "cultural pollution," of course, previously presumed a consensus that well-known culture was a worthless irritant that was to be blamed for various social harms. Brownback

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