Isaac Fadeyi Olajide, Emmanuel Diekolola Olaimolu


Taboos represent restriction and control on what can or cannot be said or done in a given time or place. As the world continues on its march towards modernization, freedom from all restrictions are promoted and taboos, which are usually seen as a leash on freedom, are considered as being outdated and generally endangered. The secularization theory as well as many scholarly studies suggest that taboos are indeed endangered and might soon altogether pass away. However, a deeper attention to contemporary society shows that this assertion might be wrong. In this paper, we contend that contrary what exists in the literature and what theory suggests, modernization and secularization are not reducing the range of taboos. Rather, they are repackaging and re-labelling taboos in new nomenclatures such as political correctness, gender sensitivity and religious sensitivity. The sheer range of “don’ts” in the contemporary society far outnumbers the range of “don’ts” in the olden days. Therefore, the paper concludes that rather than being more free, contemporary society is probably more restrictive than the traditional society.


Taboos, communication, freedom, contemporary society

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