Anthropology ritual and magic

Project description
– How to prepare the paper:

a. How do the author define ritual and magic?
b. What are some of the rituals that baseball players perform?
c. What are the emic and etic explanations Gmelch gives for why baseball players
perform these rituals?
d. Find some examples of taboos, fetishes and mana in the article and the
differences between them.
e. Why do you think Gmelch calls these rituals “baseball magic” and compares them
to the fishing magic performed by the Trobriand Islanders?
f. Which of these does Gmelch argue that “baseball magic” addresses?
i. A need for intellectual understanding
ii. Reversion to childhood feelings
iii. Anxiety and uncertainty
iv. Need for community.

– Introduction:
• Introduce George Gmelch’s argument or perspective about ritual and magic in “Baseball
Magic” and then introduce your own argument about your magic ritual.
• Remember to define magic and ritual (cite Gmelch)

– Findings and Analysis: (this should be the longest section of the paper)
• Give us background about what the magic ritual is, who does it, when and why. How
frequent is it? When did it begin? What do people think about it? Is it done in public or
private? Is it unique to a certain place in the world or country?
• Emic analysis: Make sure to provide an insider’s perspective on why people do this
ritual. Why do people do this? What result do they hope happens from conducting the ritual or magic?
• Etic analysis: From an anthropological perspective, what could be some reasons people
do this?
• Analyze the meaning of your findings. Compare the significance or meaning of this ritual with those in “Baseball Magic.” Are there any taboos, mana, or fetishes

related to this ritual?

– Conclusion:
• Summarize your topic and overall conclusion about the emic and etic significance of the
• What do your findings say about the significance of rituals in
contemporary American culture (or wherever you conduct your research)? How do these rituals compare to those in other cultures?

– Works Cited
• Include a works cited page. (This does not count toward the 3 page).

– Requirements for Ethnographic Paper: Length: 3-5 pages.
Double spaced, 1-inch margins, Times New Roman or Courier font.
Include page numbers.
Give the paper a title.
Include a Works Cited page (you must include at least 1 Gmelch quote or citation. (You can cite other readings or films if you want to).

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