Essay about Superstition And The Western World 's Cultural History

1824 Words Jan 13th, 2015 null Page
Be careful not to walk beneath a ladder! Whoa! Watch out for that black cat! You know if they cross your path you will have years of bad luck! Surely this may seem ridiculous in the contemporary culture but these superstitions were important portion within the Western World’s cultural history. They had to have some significance to be followed and passed down from generation to generation. If this is correct, what is the purpose? Is there some hidden values that superstitions illustrate? What constitutes a superstition? Merriam-Webster’s definition is helpful in describing superstition as “a belief, conception, act or practice resulting from ignorance, unreasoning fear of the unknown or mysterious conception of causation” (, 2014). . However it is important to note that superstition again is “without foundation in themselves and are inconsistent with the degree of enlightenment reached by the community in which they exist” (Rapoport 1989). Superstition is in fact a set of beliefs that are ridiculous in nature that hold no empirical bases. This is will be our conventional definition for superstition for this essay. Past research has mentioned much about superstitions within cultures.
According to Wagner (1928), women tend to have a higher average of individuals who profess to be superstitious as well as a greater number of superstitions. The reason behind this is that superstitions are a fragment of women’s cultural upbringing. Irrational beliefs such a…

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