2018년 6월 30일 토요일

발췌



출처: Owen Davies, Witchcraft, Magic and Culture, 1736-1951,


※ 발췌 (excerpt):

p.287~ :

( ... ... ) In terms of personal sickness, insuranace conver began to have a social impact only from the early 20th century onwards. The first general accident and sickness insurance policy was available in 1900 and proved popular among the self-employed. The growth of the popular insurance market undoubtedly contributed to a general easing of the severity of misfortune in terms of agricultural production and personal health. ( ... ... )

The social transformation that have just been outlined led to the creation of the following five interrelated circumstances, which effectively hampered the mechanisms that had produced accusations of witchcraft within any given community, and ultimately resulted in the declining belief in witchcraft.

Communal instability

Witchcraft accusations were generated in a social environment where there was a considerable degree of long-term social stability, and where there was an intimacy of association in which one person's affairs were the affairs of the whole community. ( ... ... ) Those bonds of intimacy and association that bound the community together in terms of work and leisure, unified it with a sense of a shared past and present, gradually fell away with the decline of the barter economy, the advent of mechanisation, and as a result of the rupture this brought about between all levels of rural society. With the exodus of the young and the death of the old, with the break-up of estates, the increasing turnover of tenancies and the influx of newcomers, the stream of inherited oral tradition ran dry.  ( ... ... )


Decline of self-governance and the intrusion of state and local government

( ... ... )




p. 294~ :


The experience of misfortune has changed profoundly in our predominantly urban, welfare society. Once the state began to provide more securities in life, such as pensions, unemployment benefits, national insurance and subsidies, and with the extension of universal suffrage and basic human rights, not only was the scope and impact of misfortune mitigated, but blame for the experience of misfortune began to be apportioned to the failures of these welfare mechanisms. In our modern social climate, people are far more aware of the national and global factors influencing their lives in political, economic and environmental terms. While financial hardship no longer results from the death of a pig or a cow, for instance, the reduction of European subsidies constitutes a serious case of misfortune for farmers. As a result, the bureaucrats in Brussels rather than village witches are now the scapegoats in farming communities. Nevertheless, although the actions of the mass of the people are no longer strongly bound by occult forces, they continue to maintain a variety of observances to ward off misfortune. However, such practices are no longer employed against individuals who emanate supernatural malign influence, but against an impersonal, abstract conception of bad luck. Many people also retain a fascination with the professed ability to interpret occult forces. The belief in fortune-telling continues, for instance, because it functions as a means of assuaging personal insecurities about the future. The expression of these insecurities may have changed over the centuries, but the fundamental fear of being hurt, emotionally or financially, will always lead people to seek comfort in the realm of magic.

In other words, the popular belief in the supernatural has continued by a process of adaptation to changing perceptions of the world. Thus the inexplicable, violent movement of objects, supernatural stone-throwing and bed-rocking, which were once attributed to witchcraft, are now seriously explained in terms of poltergeist activity. Is the former explanation any more 'irrational' than the latter? And although few people still believe in fairies and fairy abduction, many now believe in UFOs, egg-headed aliens, and alien abduction. Stories of such encounters are probably as widely deliberated in modern mass culture as stories of fairies were in the old rural culture. ( ... ... )

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