An Instance of Dirt or Pollution in Life – Essay Example

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper "An Instance of Dirt or Pollution in Life" is a good example of an essay on anthropology. Diarrhea is something that always bothers me. Aside from more frequent trips to the toilet, it aches and makes me think that something dirty, polluting, and destructive invaded my body. Moreover, the increase in stool frequency and liquidity increases my anxiety and feeling of filthiness. For this reason, I never tell anybody about it and stay at home until the symptoms recede. According to Ashforth (2005, p. 167) diarrhea is caused by the least evident or undetectable form of dirt or pollution impairing the system of the body.

It is a disorder of the mechanism that controls intestinal fluid and electrolyte transport due to the invasion of micro-organisms, carbohydrate excess and pharmacologic agents (Selbst & Cronan 2000, p. 51). However, viruses are the most common causes of acute diarrhea (Hay et al. 2002, p. 630) and it is closely linked to personal hygiene practices (Nelson & Williams 2005, p. 510). The Notion of Dirt and Pollution Dirt and pollution according to Wilson (1996, p. 49) are simply anomalous matters and matters produced or emitted from the body such as phlegm, snot, earwax, saliva, urine, and excrement are considered dirty or polluting because they transgress the boundaries of the body.

This is also concern with substances that breach the integrity of the body such as defecating, ejaculating, eating, and sneezing and it should be cleaned with water, earth, or other purifying agents. For instance, the Hindus require a ritual bath for a person who has, through vomiting or diarrhea, violently spewed the contents of his or her body from either end of the digestive tube (Wilson 1996, p. 49). According to Douglas (1984, p. 7), the thought of dirt is composed of two things, care for hygiene and value for custom.

Reflection on dirt involves according to (Bowie 2000, p. 46) relation of order and disorder, being to non-being, form to formlessness, life to death. For (Gamsey 1999, p. 93), dirt is the consequence of a methodical ordering and classification of matter, in so far as ordering involves eradicating incompatible elements. “ Dirt is a matter out of place” (Douglas 1999, p. 109), which implies a collection of ordered relations and a breach of that order.

Drawing from these interpretations, dirt appears to be a kind of compendium category for all events which blur, stain, oppose, or otherwise confuse accepted classifications. The fundamental feeling is that a system of values that is customarily articulated in a given arrangement of things has been desecrated. For instance, shoes are not dirty in themselves, but it is dirty to place them on the dining table. In other words, our dirt or pollution behavior is the reaction that denounces anything or thought likely to perplex or challenge cherished classifications (Dunn 1988, p. 25).

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us