Definition of Animatism
Example of Animatism
- A rainstorm and a rock have power.
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /ˈænəməˌtɪzəm/
- British English – /ˈanᵻməˌtɪz(ə)m/
- Plural: animatisms
- Term coined by Robert Marett (1866–1943) in The Threshold of Religion (1900) as a criticism of Edward Tylor’s (1832–1917) idea of animism developed in Primitive Culture (1871).
- Marett developed the concept of animatism based on Robert Henry Codrington’s (1830–1922) The Melanesians: Studies in their Anthropology and Folk-Lore (1891). Codrington’s ethnography began anthropology’s fascination with the topic of mana or an essential and impersonal, supernatural power that resides in all people, places, and things (objects). In addition to The Threshold of Religion (1909), Marett continued to explore mana in Anthropology (1912), and Psychology and Folklore (1920). Émile Durkheim (1858–1917) in Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912) would later contend that totemism was the most basic expression of religion, therefore disagreeing with both Tylor and Marett.
- Animism contends objects rather than beings (gods or spirits) are the dominant cosmological power.
- Animatism is often confused with animism. However, in animism, everything has a unique spirit, and in animatism, everything shares the same force.
- A type of belief system and cosmogony.
- Also called:
- preanimism (pre-animism)
- An individual that believes in animatism is an (noun) animatist and has an (adjective) animatistic belief system.
- “Although few people think of it this way, animatism is very much in evidence in contemporary industrial societies” (Thompson and Hickey 2012:425).
Thompson, William E., and Joseph V. Hickey. 2012. Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology. 7th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (https://www.macmillandictionary.com/).
Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).
Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “animatism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved February 1, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/animatism/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
animatism. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/animatism/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “animatism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed February 1, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/animatism/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“animatism.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 1 Feb. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/animatism/>.