Saddleback College Baseball Magic Discussion


Discussion 7: Magic and Ritual

Read the article “Baseball Magic” by George Gmelch, watch the video lecture “Rituals and Cultural Reproduction” and then answer the following questions on the discussion board. Start your thread with your rite of passage from question #2. Ideally this discussion board will help you prepare for your final paper by making you read the article and think about which ritual you want to focus on.

  1. Choose one or two interesting rituals from “Baseball Magic.” Describe the ritual, fetishes, mana and taboos involved (if any) and discuss why Gmelch thinks they players do this. What inspired him to write this article?
  2. A rite of passage: Think of a time you went through a rite of passage. These could be mainstream examples, like graduation, getting a new job, getting married, or something else, like starting a new job, moving to a new place, getting a driver’s license, etc. Identify the stages of separation, liminality and reaggregation? What were the fetishes, special gestures and words, taboos, involved? What were you transformed into through the experience? Make sure you watch the video lecture before you do this one.
  3. Your paper topic ideas: What do you think you will write your paper about? Who might you interview and why are you interested in interviewing them? What challenges do you anticipate? Here is your chance to brainstorm some ideas or ask questions about the project to other students.


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