Taboos and Rituals

1615 WordsNov 4, 20117 Pages
In the article "Baseball Magic" by George Gmelch, the author uses the sport of baseball as a means of portraying different aspects of culture. The three aspects of baseball that are discussed are rituals, taboos, and fetishes. All three of these baseball traditions or superstitions can be directly related to specific aspects of culture. There are religious, social, and political ties to all three. In examining the rituals, taboos, and fetishes of baseball, cultural ties can be made and one can begin to understand the complex nature of society as it relates to the individuals that comprise it. In "Baseball Magic", Gmelch realizes that certain players have rituals that they perform in order to succeed on the field. Weather it's eating…show more content…
It is totally irrational to think that your mother's back will break if you walk on the cracks in the pavement. However, I was watching people walk through the mall the other day, and it's amazing how many people will space their steps to avoid all the cracks on the tile floor. Taboos can be social, religious, and political in nature as well. A social taboo, regardless of which culture you refer to, is murder. Murder is frowned upon regardless of culture, race, or creed. Political and religious taboos can ofter be connected, depending on the culture. Often times, breaking these taboos can help to advance a culture or a group of people past an issue. In an article posted on the BBC website by Mark Simpson, titled "Ronan Kerr killing: political taboos broken", he speaks about the death of a police officer, and how it has brought together people of different political and religious backgrounds. A protestant minister attended a Catholic service for the fallen officer, even though it was frowned upon by his own faith. The political aspects of unity and standing up for what is right, far outweighed the backlash from his own faith. By breaking this taboo among many of his own faith, he began to politically unite the country and move ahead in their thinking, and move toward a time of less violence, and peace in the nation. The third aspect of society that is discussed by Gmelch, in his article is fetishes. He
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