Malinowski Baseball Magic Analysis

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A belief system is a set of beliefs prevalent in a community or society. Malinowski was able to observe the society of the Trorianders of Papua New Guinea and found that one of their main belief systems was magic. He concluded that the magic established the morale of the community whilst re-enforcing social norms, values and hierarchy. He also believed that it acted as “the God of the gaps” – filling in gaps that are otherwise uncontrollable by humans. George Gmelch was able to observe American baseball players and the role of baseball magic. He also found similar concepts to those of Malinowski’s Trobriand magic and established that baseball magic “support Malinowski’s hypothesis that magic appears in situations of chance and uncertainty”.

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