Horror, dread, awe and disgust: revisiting Durkheim and place

Osbaldiston, Nick, and Petray, Theresa (2009) Horror, dread, awe and disgust: revisiting Durkheim and place. In: TASA 2009 Conference Proceedings: the future of sociology (2009). From: TASA Australian Sociological Association 2009 Annual Conference, 1 - 4 December 2009, Canberra, ACT, Australia.

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Abstract

This paper revisits the re-conceptualisation of the sacred/profane classification in the analysis of place undertaken by Smith (1999) in his Elementary Forms of Place model. Following long standing criticism about the ambiguity of Durkheim's (1995[1912]) delineation of the profane, Smith (1999) here proposes four typologies that specifically separate those places of no special significance, the mundane, from other sites of high or low value. The argument made in this paper is that despite the usefulness of this typology, Smith (1999) neglects the darker side of the sacred. Known as the impure or 'left' sacred (Hertz, 1960[1909]), this concept characterises those objects or in this case places which imbue feelings of horror and dread. Yet unlike the profane, these sites acquire no ritual avoidance strategies. This paper illustrates this darker side of the sacred through secondary empirical analysis from the World War One site of Gallipoli. It is found that while elements of the pure sacred are found within the rituals of ANZAC Day here, there is also a profound imagery of horror and dread. These we argue, help to further accentuate and concretise the pure sacred experience through narratives of sacrifice, patriotism and heroism.

Item ID: 14966
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
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ISBN: 978-0-646-52501-3
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2010 00:31
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160806 Social Theory @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%
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