Browsing by Subject "Durkheim, Émile, 1858-1917"
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ItemFandom as religion: a social-scientific assessment(Intellect (Firm), 2021-06) Elliott, Michael A.; Towson University. Department of Anthropology, Sociology & Criminal JusticeMy objective in this article is to outline both a conceptual and a methodological reframing of the ‘fandom as religion’ comparison from a social-scientific perspective. This comparison is familiar territory by now. It has survived the decades because there are, in fact, some striking similarities between fan devotion and religious devotion. However, there are some lingering issues that continue to hamper this field. As a result, I begin by discussing these issues in more detail and highlight how they can be problematic. Next, I discuss how fan devotion is better conceptualized as a sacred rather than a religious experience. Finally, I suggest suitable methods for gathering first-hand data from fans to test this association. On the whole, I believe this reframing will lead to a more accurate understanding of fandoms and chart a clearer path forward for scholars in this field. ItemThe globalization of comic-con and the sacralization of popular culture(Palgrave Macmillan (Firm), 2018) Elliott, Michael A.; Towson University. Department of Anthropology, Sociology & Criminal JusticeIn 1970, the Golden State Comic-Con was held in San Diego, California, with about 300 people in attendance. At the time, it was a relatively small convention of writers, artists and enthusiasts of comic books as well as science fiction and fantasy. Today, Comic-Con International: San Diego (as it is now called) is attended by over 130,000 people every July and is widely known as the premiere convention for fans celebrating comics and related popular arts. This chapter seeks to explore why Comic-Con has become such a popular event, particularly for fans, and why it has globalized in recent years. The chapter proposes a Durkheimian hypothesis: Comic-Con is a sacred ritual for devout fans, and it has globalized because key aspects of this event (e.g., the superhero) represent mythical archetypes that transcend national boundaries. ItemThe institutionalization of human rights and its discontents: A world cultural perspective(Sage Publications, 2014-07-16) Elliott, Michael A.; Towson University. Department of Anthropology, Sociology & Criminal JusticeA recurring theme in the sociology of human rights is the vast decoupling that exists between the formal codification of these rights in principle and their implementation in practice, fueling much debate about the effectiveness of international law. Yet, despite this disjuncture, a deeper question remains: given all the barriers that have impeded the realization of human rights, why have they become so widely institutionalized? Revisiting previous work in this journal, I argue that one important component of the expansion of human rights is the rise of the universal, egalitarian individual as the primary entity of social organization in world society. Additionally, I explore how the nature of human rights law itself promotes widespread decoupling that, in turn, fuels ongoing efforts to close the gap between principle and practice. Indeed, while human rights law envisions an ideal world that is practically unrealizable, it inspires a never-ending, global crusade to bring about that vision.