What Does Taboo Mean?

If you’re looking for an understanding of the meaning of taboo, you have come to the right place. Psychologist Sigmund Freud is famous for his analysis of the concept. Among his many findings, he says that a taboo can be defined as a thing that is forbidden to be done or to be used. However, he also points out that a taboo can also be considered as a form of self-preservation. As such, taboos can be found in various aspects of our lives. Here are some examples:

Interracial and same-sex unions

An increasing number of Americans are supporting the legalization of interracial and same-sex unions. But there are still many people who have a negative opinion of the practice. Some of these individuals claim that it’s a violation of civil rights.

The Civil Rights Movement in the 50s galvanized America and stirred conscience about racial injustice. However, the movement was also fueled by the unequal treatment of women. Whites opposed interracial marriage because they believed it would degrade racial purity. Consequently, white families refused to have anything to do with interracial couples.

During the civil rights era, blacks were largely unaware of the racist nature of their white counterparts. In fact, a 1958 poll conducted by the Pittsburgh Courier showed that most blacks believed that whites were inhuman and oppressive.

Even after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, which passed in 1964, countercurrents continued to build. The Loving case, filed in November 1963, challenged the 14th Amendment’s ban on interracial marriage. It took four years for the case to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a 2003 study, Bonilla-Silva found that a substantial portion of White Americans were concerned about the risks of interracial romantic partnerships. Among the respondents, 31 percent strongly approved of interracial relationships, 16 percent strongly disapproved, and the remaining 6 percent were neutral.

Research also suggests that adults in interracial relationships have lower self-rated health and higher levels of psychological distress. These factors contribute to an increased risk of anxiety disorders.

According to the 2008 American Community Survey, 80 percent of Americans are comfortable with interracial marriage by a family member. However, family advocates should be trained to support interracial families.

Disturbing the remains of deceased ancestors

Disturbing the remains of deceased ancestors is a taboo in most cultures. However, in the United States and Taiwan, it’s a taboo that is getting worse by the day. Even the most rabid of cemetery buffs aren’t too thrilled with the idea of going to the trouble of cleaning the place up. So what does this mean for the rest of us mortals?

Fortunately, we don’t have to endure the acrid smells of a dusty old cemetery. In fact, the task is a lot easier than it sounds. The first step is to contact the coroner, who may be willing to vouch for the claims of a certain decedent. Sadly, that’s not always the case.

After all, if you’re the one doing the grueling work of keeping the place up and running, you probably don’t have a whole lot of time or inclination for a good old-fashioned conversation.

Food restrictions disguised as health precautions

Food taboos are the small print in a larger picture. They may be a simple nod to a health hazard or they may be an important step toward adaptability. A food taboo is a dietary rule or a cultural tradition which is practiced in response to social, political, or environmental changes.

For example, in Tanzania, a pregnant woman was advised not to eat fish because it could cause harm to the abdomen. On the other hand, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends against eating shark because of the high mercury content. Other restrictions include not eating eggs and eating certain foods of animal origin, like goat or ox.

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One such thing is the Orang Asli of West Malaysia, who practise avoidances in the hopes of maintaining harmony with entities. In the Upper Manya Krobo district of Ghana, a qualitative focus group study found that women were expected to follow certain food rules during pregnancy. The biggest one was not eating shrimp because it would give their babies a “slime” taste.

Freud’s analysis of taboos

Sigmund Freud’s Totem and Taboo is one of his first works on group psychology. It was based on his studies of Aborigines of Australia. He had a great interest in primitive cultures, particularly the way they used objects. As such, he believed taboos and totemism played a vital role in the lives of primitive people.

Taboos are prohibitions, or restrictions, placed on certain activities or behaviours. These laws and bans can affect all aspects of our lives, from the foods we eat to the relationships we have with others. Some examples include dietary restrictions, cannibalism, and the sexual practices of certain groups.

In the past, there has been a large variety of beliefs and customs about taboos. For example, people are forbidden to touch a dead body or the corpse of a loved one. This practice is based on hardwired repulsion to disease carriers. The punishment for violating a taboo is severe.

Sigmund Freud’s theories about the nature of taboos were important for psychoanalysis. His work had a profound influence on followers and psychologists alike. A great deal of conceptual richness was present in his work.

One of his theories is that all cultures spring from a single myth, the Oedipus complex. He argued that all the societies we have known are derived from this myth, which he believes is the basis for all religion. However, this theory was later modified by some psychoanalysts.

Freud argued that the reason for the taboos and prohibitions was the repressed guilt of individuals. He argued that this guilt was driven by the desire for incest.

Incest was considered a very heinous act, and was therefore a taboo in all societies. Moreover, violation of a taboo was considered a direct threat to the individual.

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About the Author: Prateek