Mary Douglas quotes

  • If you want to change the culture, you will have to start by changing the organization.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Change #Organization #Culture

  • Yes, disappointment over perceived unfairness, injustice, promises not kept, tends to go hand in hand with increasing prosperity. Expectations are dashed. What can I say!
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Disappointment #Hands #Expectations

  • Behind a leader there must be followers, but they should always be on the lookout for the main chance and ready to change sides if the current leader doesn't deliver.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Leadership #Followers #Sides

  • If people want to compete for leadership of a religious group, they can compete in piety. A chilling thought. Or funny.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Religious #People #Competition

  • The human body is always treated as an image of society.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Body #Human Body #Humans

  • It seems true that the growth of science and secularism made organized Christianity feel under threat.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Christian #Growth #Made

  • Mormons... are so strong, they can handle wealth, they are confident. I think it is because they are not bogged down by rules for equality, but have a firmly defined system of relative status and responsible command.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Strong #Equality #Thinking

  • Inequality can have a bad downside, but equality, for its part, sure does get in the way of coordination.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Equality #Way #Doe

  • Enclave life becomes very tense, Even when they do elect a leader, the factions remain, with the threat of splitting off.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Leader #Factions #Tense

  • Some scholars have been arguing that a civilizational clash between organized religions is the next step in human history.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Next #Steps #Arguing

  • Islam is in principle egalitarian, and has always had problems with power.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Islam #Principles #Problem

  • It's unlikely that the organized religions will get more sectarian... or is it? I am not at all sure.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Unlikely #Organized #Organized Religion

  • Every year the progress of advanced capitalist society makes our population consist of more and more isolates. This is because of the infrastructure of the economy, especially electronic communications.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Communication #Years #Progress

  • I have increasingly, over the years, felt that religion today does our civilization more harm than good.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Civilization #Years #Today

  • Just in our lifetime our society has become looser and more private, it becomes extremely difficult to hold to any permanent commitment whatever, least of all to organized religion.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Commitment #Our Society #Lifetime

  • The history of the Church of Rome is a constant leakage of members into such breakaway cults, which go on splitting.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Rome #Church #Goes On

  • If we can abstract pathogenicity and hygiene from our notion of dirt, we are left with the old definition of dirt as matter out of place. This is a very suggestive approach. It implies two conditions: a set of ordered relations and a contrevention of that order. Dirt then, is never a unique, isolated event. Where there is dirt there is a system. Dirt is the by-product of a systematic ordering and classification of matter, in so far as ordering involves rejecting inappropriate elements.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Unique #Order #Hygiene

  • The theory of cultural bias... is the idea that a culture is based on a particular form of organization. It can't be transplanted except to another variant of that organization.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Organization #Ideas #Culture

  • Our technological infrastructure alienates us from each other. No need to form a workplace community, everybody there will be out in a year or two, and so will you, looking for a better place.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Years #Two #Safety

  • Pretensions to moral superiority are devastatingly destructive.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Moral #Pretension #Superiority

  • Real equality is immensely difficult to achieve, it needs continual revision and monitoring of distributions. And it does not provide buffers between members, so they are continually colliding or frustrating each other.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Real #Equality #Frustrated

  • Religion can make it worse. Are you supposing that if people were encouraged to believe in a transcendent reality, and to be encouraged by grand rituals and music and preaching, to love their neighbors, then they would put jealousy and frustration aside?
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Jealousy #Believe #Frustration

  • Inside a religious body you get sects and hierarchies, inside an information network you get bazaars and cathedrals, it is the same, call them what you like. They survive by pointing the finger of blame at each other.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Religious #Bazaars #Body

  • When we are reflecting on terrorism we can grieve for many things we do and have done.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Grieving #Done #Terrorism

  • Any great organization can go through sectarian phases.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Organization #Phases

  • Hierarchy is is much reviled in the present day.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Hierarchy

  • Hierarchy works well in a stable environment.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Hierarchy #Environment #Wells

  • It is very reasonable to worry about the harm done by organized religion, and to prefer looser and more private arrangements.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Worry #Done #Recycling

  • I am convinced that living in an enclave shapes the personality, and living alone shapes the personality too.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Personality #Shapes #Living Alone

  • Without the letters of condolence, telegrams of congratulations, and occasional postcards, the friendship of a separated friend is not a social reality. It has no existence without the rites of friendship. Social rituals create a reality which would be nothing without them. It is not too much to say that ritual is more to society than words are to thought. For it is very possible to know something and then find words for it. But it is impossible to have social relations without symbolic acts.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Congratulations #Condolences #Reality

  • I am sure it must be true that people opt out of the mainstream society because they feel that there are going to be no rewards for them, if they stay.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #People #Rewards #Mainstream

  • It is only partly true that religion does more harm than good in society. The community makes God into the image it wants, vengeful, or milky sweet, or scrupulously just, and so on.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Sweet #Community #Want

  • Since 1970, relationships can be more volatile, jobs more ephemeral, geographical mobility more intensified, stability of marriage weaker.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Jobs #Mobility #Ephemeral

  • The natural response of the old-timers is to build a strong moral wall against the outside. This is where the world starts to be painted in black and white, saints inside, and sinners outside the wall.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Strong #Wall #Black And White

  • Where there is dirt there is system. Dirt is the byproduct of a systematic ordering and classification of matter.
    -- Mary Douglas

    #Systematic #Matter #Dirt