Winner of the The Katharine Briggs Award 2015
This is an analysis of a popular scare about black magic and Satanism in the North of Ireland between 1972 and 1974. The book gives an insight into a particularly grim period during the early 1970s in Northern Ireland, using an extremely unusual episode - the black magic rumours - as a privileged window onto a world that may now be behind us, but which continues to fascinate many readers.
The book provides a fascinating insight into some of the problems and procedures of social history. The author demonstrates that phenomena like the black magic rumours cannot be understood without taking a multidisciplinary approach, taking in perspectives and comparative evidence from anthropology, sociology, folklore and media studies.
Richard Jenkins is Professor of Sociology at the University of Sheffield, UK. Trained as an anthropologist he has done research in Ireland, Britain and Denmark. Among his other books are Foundations of Sociology (2002), Pierre Bourdieu (2nd edition 2002) and Rethinking Ethnicity (2nd edition 2008) and Social Identity (3rd edition 2008).