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DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405168908.2010.x


A term that classifies together a number of different phenomena. In its widest sense, it refers to a population divided into groups, each of which is associated with a class of animate or inanimate objects (its totem). The term may refer to simple heraldic S ymbol ism or to complex S ystems of religious and magical observances. The totem has variously been seen as a social emblem which represents and maintains the solidarity and continuity of the social group, or as a means of conceptualizing the natural, animal world in terms of the social world, the diversity of species constituting a conceptual support for social differentiation. 1912 (1968) : The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life . 1962a (1963) : Totemism . ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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