Magico-religious practitioner types and socioeconomic conditions

Cross-Cultural Research Vol/Iss. 20(1-4) Sage Published In Pages: 17-46
By Winkelman, Michael James


"The Malevolent Practitioners are generally referred to by terms that are translated as 'sorcerers' or 'witches'. They are part-time specialists, with low social and economic status. In most societies, malevolent practitioners can be either male or female". (27)


This is a descriptive generalization, derived from cluster analysis.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail

Related Hypotheses

Main AuthorHypothesis
Winkelman, Michael James"the nature of the selection procedures for magico-religious roles is strongly related to the activities in which practitioners engage" (33)
Winkelman, Michael James"The Priests are full-time specialists, with high social and economic status, who generally exercise political, legislative, judicial, economic, or military power. These practitioners are predominantly or exclusively male" (27)
Winkelman, Michael JamesPolitical integration and the presence of classes are correlated with the presence of Malevolent Practitioners
Winkelman, Michael James"Priest practitioners were present only in sedentary societies with a major reliance upon agriculture or pastoralism"(37)
Winkelman, Michael James"Mediums are part-time practitioners who in most societies are predominantly female; males are also found in this role, but less frequently. Mediums act at clients' requests to heal and divine while in possession trance states".(27) "Mediums were characterized by training that included significantly higher levels of spontaneous seizures or illness, compulsive motor behavior, tremors, and convulsions. All but one of the Mediums were characterized as undergoing possession trance experiences"...