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Where there is dirt, there is system
  • Rachel Riddell
Rachel Riddell
University of Birmingham

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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American anthropologist Mary Douglas coined the phrase “Where there is dirt, there is system.” This phrase is considered in the context of diverse case studies: the Dalits of India, the condition of anorexia, and food taboos among the Orang Asli community of Malaysia. The paper argues that underlying diverse societies is a need to achieve system and structure by distinguishing between the acceptable and the unacceptable as related to matters of health and taboo.