Analysis Of ' Anatomy Of Disgust ' By William Ian Miller

1140 WordsOct 14, 20145 Pages
Jennifer Street Dr. Nigel Joseph English 2260F October 15th, 2014 Dos and Don’ts: Insignificant and Significant Taboos in Western Society When people must interact in a public space, there are certain actions that are frowned upon and taught against from an early age. These unacceptable actions can be referred to as taboos. The word ‘taboo’ refers to something that is prohibited or restricted by social custom. Since the parameters of a taboo involve social custom, they differ from one society to the next. This essay will focus on taboos present in Western society. Three texts that discuss types of taboos in Western society will be referenced in this essay. Anatomy of Disgust by William Ian Miller discusses the taboos that make many people revolted and uncomfortable, and why. “Territories of Self” by Erving Goffman covers the reasons why we act the way we do in public. Thirdly, Sophie Watson’s “The Disenchantments of Urban Encounters” reveals the reasoning behind ones’ actions in public versus private spaces. These works all discuss the different types of human taboos and what makes them inappropriate, but fail to differentiate which are substantial enough to cause humanity to falter, and which are trivial enough to not offend all people. Theorists have focused on "serious" taboos such as abuse and unlawfulness, and have dismissed lesser versions as merely clashing behavior amongst different cultures. I will argue, however, that these milder insignificant taboos are

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