Toward a Unified Theory of Ancestor Worship: A Cross-Cultural Study

Social Forces Vol/Iss. 54(2) Oxford University Press Published In Pages: 427-440
By Sheils, Dean


There will be an association between polygyny and ancestor worship. Societies that have a higher occurrence of polygyny will be more likely to practice ancestor worship than those with a lower occurrence or absence of polygyny.


The hypothesis was supported but the coefficient of contingency reveals the relationship between polygyny and ancestor worship is not strong.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Chi-squareSupportedp = .05C = .39UNKNOWN


Variable NameVariable Type OCM Term(s)
Ancestor WorshipDependentCult Of The Dead
Marriage TypeIndependentPolygamy