RELIGST 3AR3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Social Geography, Making Money, Spirit Possession

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Spirits, lecture 1
I. What is spirit possession?
…Hold eerted oer a hua eig  eteral fores or etities ore poerful tha she
or he Bodd 1994
- The idea that no matter what, there is some sort of hold over a human. A human can
fight it, but cannot fully eliminate it
II. Theoretical approaches
Rationalizing/medicalizing:
- Ex. Personal/social pathology; something may be mentally/socially/physically out of
place, with focus on mental illness
- Ex. Status deprivation; maybe cannot achieve a positive/empowered status and use
spirit possession for something
- Ex. Calcium deficiency hypothesis; medically off or physically off
- Ex. DSMIV; a mental illness
Contextualizing/cultural interpretation
- Social
- System of communication
- Text and genre
- Instrumental and articulatory
- Critical
III. Ethnographic case study: Jinn in the Palestinian West Bank Ch1
Where: Artas, West Bank
When: 1995-96
Who: Muslim Palestinian Village
What: Jinn Stories
Method: participant observation, kinship records, interviews
To understand jinn stories we need to understand key contexts:
Political contexts:
Ottomans: 1516-1017
British: 1917-1948
Jordanians: 1948-1967
Israel: 1967-present
Economic context:
- Primarily agrarian tending fields/farms
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