a method of social analysis developed by anthropologist Mary Douglas as means of comparing societies and their cosmologies. Douglas argues that similar social structures will produce similar cosmologies. Thus an observer ought to be able to deduce the cosmology of a society from information about its social structure and re-create its social structure on the basis of a knowledge of its cosmology. The technique is based on the concept of positional control or the social restraints, physical or otherwise, which limit the ability of people to act.

Concise dictionary of Religion. 2012.

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