Historical Who is Who


1921 - 2007
England/United States

Social anthropologist with a field work background with the Lele in Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), but recognised principally as a social theorist. She focussed on how people classify their boundaries in respect of family life and marriage, food and drink, dust and cleanliness, and dealing with risk. In doing this she extended the anthropological gaze from non-western tribal contexts to contemporary European and American society. She drew attention to the importance of symbols in the shaping of complex understandings. This she explored extensively in relation to biblical literature and Jewish self-understanding. She was herself a lifelong Roman Catholic





Interview with Mary Douglas (extract) (2 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3lgS3ACtEk

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