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By Bruce Lincoln

During this daring theoretical paintings, Bruce Lincoln explores the ways that fantasy, ritual, and type carry human societies together--and how, in occasions of problem, they are often used to take a society aside and reconstruct it. with out overlooking the function of coercive strength within the upkeep (or overthrow) of social buildings, Lincoln argues his thesis with compelling illustrations drawn from such varied components as Platonic philosophy, the Upanishads of India, African rituals of kingship, historical Celtic banquets, English gentlemen's golf equipment, the Iranian Revolution, the St. Bartholomew's Day bloodbath, specialist wrestling, and the Spanish Civil warfare. specialist wrestling, Lincoln exhibits, may be considered as a drama of category within which the yankee dream of chance is decided forth, challenged, and eventually firmly reestablished in good-versus-evil encounters among wrestlers classified by means of their relative "Americanness." The exhumation of nuns' mummified corpses by means of leftist forces and their sympathizers in the course of the Spanish Civil battle, usually disregarded by way of liberal historians as an embarrassing aberration, is extra without problems comprehensible as a ritual during which the Spanish Catholic Church, which had lengthy performed the position of "the faith of the prestige quo," was once symbolically uncovered as corrupt in either an ethical and concretely physiological experience. Discourse and the development of Society attracts on paintings within the fields of background, anthropology, sociology, spiritual reviews, classics, indology, and semiotics to illustrate the a number of makes use of of delusion, ritual, and symbolic class in effecting ideological persuasion and evoking the emotions that bind humans to each other inside certain social groupings whereas setting apart them from others, who're thereby outlined as outsiders. This wide-ranging interdisciplinary research offers tough new insights into the advanced dynamics of social team spirit and alter.

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Extra resources for Discourse and the Construction of Society: Comparative Studies of Myth, Ritual, and Classification

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Yet there are other myths, and extremely important ones, that are set not in the past but in the future, a mythic future that-like the mythic past-enters discourse in the present always and only for reasons of the present. What is more, such myths may well be (and have often been) contested territory as competing segments of society seek to appropriate them and turn them to their own interests, be those interests the preservation of the status quo or the reconstruction of society in some radically new form.

He had recently escaped from Danish captivity and, in the wake of these events, initiated the rising that made Sweden indepen­ dent, with him as its king (1523). 2. These stories recount formative moments from the past: moments in which the enduring tensions that divide rival groups were dramatically at issue. , Nilotic, Tuscan, or Scandinavian unity) are deconstructed in the process. 1S Nor are these results exclusively a matter of the distant past. For whenever the story of Montaperti is told in a Sienese cafe, to take but one example, those present lose sight of their identity as members of the European conti­ nent, the Italian nation, the Tuscan region, or the wards (contrade) of Siena.

Although a careful ambiguity was preserved regarding " Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The Politics of Myth 33 this last point, it does not seem to have been lost on the Islamic clergy ('ulama) or on others, as is witnessed by the fact that in the late 1 9 70S a significant (if improbable) rumor circulated to the effect that the shah would soon reveal himself a Zoroastrian and would proclaim Iran once more to be a Zoroastrian nation. ll The 'ulama had, in fact, long been among those most dissatisfied with Pahlavi rule.

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