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Participation Mystique – An alternative to secular materialism

Participation Mystique is a psychological and spiritual idea proposed by the anthropologist Lucien Lévi-Bruhl. It concerns the alleged mystical relationship that so-called primitives had with objects in their environment. In Lévi-Bruhl’s own words: In the collective representations of primitive mentality objects … Continue reading


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Dialectical Materialism – It sounds like “diabolical” but it’s not quite that bad

Dialectical Materialism is a school of thought which emerged from Karl Marx‘s theory of history. Marx is said to have turned the Hegelian dialectic on its head. That is, Hegel envisioned the world as spirit unfolding in matter and, by … Continue reading


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Structuralism – another ‘religious’ belief?

Structuralism is an approach found in the Social Sciences. Its adherents maintain that human beliefs, practices and interactions follow natural, universal patterns.¹ In psychology, structuralism is usually contrasted with functionalism. Structural approaches also appear in anthropology, linguistics, sociology and religious … Continue reading


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The changing face of scholarship

Embed from Getty Images Pierre Bourdieu at an unemployed demonstration in front of ‘Sciences Politiques’ and ‘Normale Superieure’ schools in Paris, France on January 16, 1998. Like most things in life, the idea of scholarship has many meanings. Many people … Continue reading