Mary Douglas on Purity and Danger: An Interview

Featherstone, Mike and Turner, Bryan S.. 2022. Mary Douglas on Purity and Danger: An Interview. Theory, Culture & Society, 39(7-8), pp. 133-158. ISSN 0263-2764 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This interview with Mary Douglas took place at Lancaster University in the Religious Studies Department. The main focus of the interview was her recently published book, Purity and Danger, which had already become a classic of British anthropology. The questions and answers ranged mainly over the differences between the physical body, representations of the body, the body as a classificatory system, and social constructivism. Douglas’s early academic years and the influences on her work, such as the role of Roman Catholicism in her childhood and youth, were discussed. The interview concluded with speculation about the connections between anthropology and colonialism, and how she responded to those developments.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


anthropology, body, classification, colonialism, Mary Douglas, Edward Evans-Pritchard, social constructivism

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute for Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship (ICCE)


23 September 2022Accepted
8 February 2023Published Online
December 2022Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

27 Feb 2023 13:44

Last Modified:

27 Feb 2023 13:44

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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