my188betSociology of Spiders

A tiny spider on a centre of an orange wall,in a halo of light


Spiders inspire irrational fright,尽管大多数蜘蛛不会伤害人类。The small percentage that can are not usually found in our homes and they don't specifically seek us out for attack.然而,即使我看到家里有只蜘蛛(或者最近野营旅行中看到的蜘蛛)也反应过度!.

我们对城市地区蜘蛛的集体恐惧是由文化决定的,它远远超过了所带来的风险。蜘蛛是西方社会不同类型恐惧的焦点和隐喻。Even amongst educated people,蜘蛛是厌恶和焦虑的根源。为什么会这样?

Impact on conservation

A study by American sociologist Andrew Knight (2008) finds that amongst people who support the conservation of endangered species,蜘蛛(连同蛇和蝙蝠)受到轻蔑,因此人们不太可能因为这种负面的认知而关心蜘蛛的保护。

Where does this come from?Many people might think this fear is the outcome of evolution,但当我们看到世界各地不同的文化时,情况并非如此。在其他文化中,蜘蛛在集体想象中占有积极的地位。

以David Zeitlyn(1993)的南喀麦隆文化人种学研究为例。The Mambila people rely on "本吉“(oracles) who use a "NGAM“(spider divination) to make decisions.This involves a ritual where the oracle interprets a person's question or problem by reading a spider's movements around specially placed cards and objects.Up until the mid-1990s these spider divinations were admissible in court ("the spider does not lie!").

如果不理解这一精神实践的文化意义,很容易将其摒弃。Does Western culture not place the same mythical power and danger on these small creatures crawling across the wall?If we had a more spiritual or cultural understanding of spiders,conservation of endangered spiders (and other similar insects) would benefit.

Aboriginal cultures

Large spider (background,在布尔甘德里的两只袋鼠中间,土著艺术遗址,在Kariong,New South Wales

Spiders also feature in Aboriginal cultures in Australia.For example,bark and rock paintings in the Northern Territory and the Central Coast of New South Wales depict large spiders in prominent ways.

蜘蛛是伯恩古族图腾为阿纳姆中部的雷姆巴恩加/基恩人。‘Spiders in their webs are associated with a sacred rock on the clan estate and the design is connected with a major regional ceremony.These spider totems provide a link with neighbouring clans who also use spider totems in their rituals.'

艺术家Harry Tjuna,他在南澳大利亚北部的尼努克艺术中心画画,is famedfor his breathtaking Wanka (Spider) artwork.  Wanka is the powerful spider man,a Ngankari or traditional healer.Tjutjana explains我是蜘蛛侠,Ngankari.'本工程文件规定:

“这是一个蜘蛛侠。Watipaluru Ngankari(A male healer,传统医生)。He is a powerful man.下雨时,他躲在窝里。他是个聪明人。晚上他换颜色。His name is万卡,spider.这就是故事。Minyma wanka tjuta,这些都是这个男人(在他周围)的女人和孩子。我是蜘蛛侠,Ngankari.'

The symbolism of spiders works differently,but it nevertheless alters our behaviour and attitudes across cultures,from fear to reverence.

Learn More

你知道澳大利亚猎人蜘蛛能认出它的亲属吗?Amber Beavis and colleagues发现这是为数不多的合作社会蛛形纲动物之一。It refrains from eating non-kin,even to the point of starvation amongst the young.你认为有多少蜘蛛会表现出社交行为?


新南威尔士美术馆,(nd)‘Wanka (Spider).' Sydney: AGNSW.

Knight,a.J(2008)“蝙蝠,蛇和蜘蛛,哦,我的天!”How Aesthetic and Negativistic Attitudes,和其他概念预测对物种保护的支持,环境心理学杂志,28(1): 94-103.

Nicholls,C.J(2014) ‘"Dreamings"and Place – Aboriginal Monsters and Their Meanings,'对话,4月30日。在线资源上次访问时间:2019年2月9日。

蔡特林d.(1993) ‘Spiders In and Out of Court,or,“法律的长腿”:蜘蛛占卜在其社会学背景下的风格,International African Institute,63(2):219-240。



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