2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

Breaking the Rules and Getting Away with It: An Exploration of Approved Taboo-Breaking in Ritual Performances
Chantae Rudie
Dr. Amber Johnson and Dr. Julie Flowerday, Faculty Mentors

Both ritual and taboo have been given a great deal of attention in the field of anthropology, but hardly ever in relation to each other. The goal of this report is to explore the relationships present within rituals containing approved taboo-breaking and to provide a preliminary analysis of those relationships. Data was collected for twelve rituals and analyzed using a bivariate correlation, pie charts, and a discriminant function analysis. The results suggest that the presence of approved taboo-breaking during rituals is influenced by other variables related to the ritual and taboo in question, including the relatedness of observers, the importance of the taboo in question, the specific type of ritual, and whether a participant or an observer breaks the taboo. This report concludes with several suggestions for further investigation of this largely unexplored topic.

Keywords: taboo, social norms, ritual, ceremony

Topic(s):Anthropology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 2-3
Location: Georgian Room - SUB
Time: 4:30

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