Academic Papers: All

In-laws and outlaws: black magic among Pakistani migrants in Denmark

This article analyzes the suspicions of kala jaddu, also referred to as black magic, present within the Pakistani immigrant community in Demark. 

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Destroying the Destroyer of your Destiny: The Role(s) of Pentecostalism in Post-War Liberia

Heaner evaluates the socio-political role of Pentecostalism in Liberia, Africa. Heaner analyzes the growth of the Pentecostal churches within post-conflict settings of nearly total social, economic, educational and political collapse in Liberia.

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Contemporary Practices of Witch Hunting: A Report on Social trends and the interface with law

Many states such as Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa, have had concerns expressed about the targeting of women as ‘witches’, or what is widely called ‘witch hunting’. This report addresses social trends, norms, and acceptance of making women targets for such accusation and persecution. It discusses the consequences of “witch-hunting” and laws that have been put into place to combat it.

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Sorcery and death squads. Transformations of state, sovereignty, and violence in postcolonial Mozambique. (2009)

Mozambique norm and standard has been reported to support “summary executions by police” and “police killings” in all major cities in Mozambique. Bertelsen explains the correlation between state and violence, with accompanying human rights violations that are currently taking place within Mozambique. 

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21st Century Witchcraft Accusations

Being accused of witchcraft, black magic or other forms of evil, can result in serious violations of human rights including, at the most extreme, torture and death. This happens all around the world. Women, children, the disabled and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to these forms of abuse.

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Anthropological and Historical Approaches to Witchcraft: Potential for a New Collaboration?

Witchcraft was studied in the 1960s through a comparative approach that covered different continents and periods of time. The topic was again widely discussed by anthropologists and sociologists in the 1990s, with an emphasis on global, and interdisciplinary perspectives to better understand witchcraft.

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Socio-Cultural Factors Affecting Child Witchcraft Labelling Among the People of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, 2012

The study investigated Socio-cultural factors affecting child witchcraft labeling among the people of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. The simple random and cluster sampling techniques were used for the selection of three hundred and fifty respondents used as sample for the study. The questionnaire and focused group discussions were instruments of data collection. Analysis was done using the frequency and percentages, correlation and multiple regression. The results of the findings revealed that there exist significance relationship between social factors and child witchcraft labeling. Cultural factors were discovered also to have influence on child witchcraft labeling. Based on the findings, it is recommended that deliberate and proactive steps must be taken to curb the excesses of the perpetrators of this evil act of child witchcraft labeling. Most of the cultural beliefs should be reframed in line with modernization.

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Abuse Linked to a Belief in Spirit Possession/ Witchcraft – Practice Guidance for Social Workers, August 2012

Social workers are charged with safeguarding children. It is important to be aware of the subject of abuse linked with a belief system so that cases of such abuse can be identified at the earliest possible stage. Cases of child abuse linked to a belief in spirit possession or witchcraft are not common however they can lead to extreme physical and emotional abuse and to child deaths. The cases of Victoria Climbie, Kristy Bamu and Ikpomwosa, whose torso was recovered from the Thames, were all child deaths linked to this belief system. Therefore if you believe this issue may be present it is vital to respond as quickly as possible.

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Effectiveness of IEC interventions in reducing HIV/AIDS related stigma among high school adolescents in Hawassa, Southern Ethiopia, 2008

Misconceptions on HIV transmission and prevention, stigmatizing and discriminatory attitudes were prevalent among the adolescents. Remarkable reduction in HIV related misconceptions, stigmatizing and discriminatory attitudes were observed. Hence, campaigns using combined IEC interventions on HIV/AIDS need to be intensified to dispel some of the prevailing misconceptions and associated stigma and discrimination among school adolescents.

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Epilepsy-associated stigma in sub-Saharan Africa: The social landscape of a disease, 2005

Many studies in developed regions of the world have confirmed that stigma contributes substantially to the psychological and social burden of epilepsy. Relatively few studies of epilepsy-associated stigma have been conducted in Africa, where much of the world’s burden of epilepsy exists. In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), particularly in rural regions, close family ties, communal living situations, and traditional belief systems undoubtedly influence the expression of stigmatization. A review of the epidemiologic, anthropologic, and sociologic studies of epilepsy in SSA provides significant insights into how people with epilepsy (PWE) are per- ceived by their communities and families and how these perceptions translate into limited social and economic opportunities and possibly worsen the physical vulnerability of PWE in this region. The medical community is not exempt from the social process of stigmatization, and poor public health infrastructure and medical services undoubtedly contribute to the cycle of epilepsy-asso- ciated stigma through wide treatment gaps, poor seizure control, and high rates of seizure-related injury. In this review, we extrapolate data from existing studies of epilepsy in SSA coupled with our own experience providing epilepsy care in the region to give an overview of the social landscape of this common, devastating condition.

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