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Forced symbolism

Just a little, small, teeny, tiny observation: maybe I haven’t read enough interpretivist anthropologists’ essays to really get a true feeling of the genre here, but it irks me to no end when such an author takes a fairly large and dominant symbol — the body, the devil (Douglas, Limon) — and proposes to show how the culture(s) they’re studying use and embody it, then go off on other completely different tangents and every once in a while throw in sentences like “the devil comes in many forms.” “It is common for such cults to dance.” That is too vague to be of much use. It is an almost painful treasure hunt going through their text picking out where they explicitly examine the symbolism and metaphors.
I suspect because they are not positivists they lay their findings out for the readers and expect the reader to come to the same conclusions they did, but just to be “sure” they’ll throw in a little hint now and then: “you might say it’s…evil? *Dr. Evil pinky*.”
Call me simple, but if an author is going to examine symbols so deeply embedded in our culture, in ourselves, they need to be a little more demonstrative in their writing and analysis of their examples.

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