(via Savage Minds) Mary Douglas has died aged 86. She was the most widely read British social anthropologist of her generation, Richard Fardon writes in an orbituary in the Guardian. If she had to be recalled for a single achievement, Fardon continues, "it would be as the anthropologist who took the techniques of a particularly vibrant period of research into non-western societies and applied them to her own, western milieu".
Her book Purity and Danger "simply changed the way people saw their world and made sense of every day distinctions that we observed but failed to understand", Daniel Miller writes in the blog Material Culture
A Sunday Times survey of “Makers of the 20th Century” in 1991 listed Purity and Danger among the 100 most influential nonfiction works since 1945; only four women and four anthropologists made the list, according to The Times
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