Discourses about Superstitious Beliefs: A Case-study of Yorùbá and Chinese Societies
Right from ancient times, certain beliefs and practices are formed based on either irrational, supernatural influences or unscientific ideologies in different human societies globally. Many of such convictions and practices have not only survived but prevailed even in modern societies with their attendant collateral impact on behaviour and actions of people. Traditional societies have indigenous ideas and practices often formed as a result of magical practices, religion, ignorance, fear, luck, and prophecy. The fact is many of such ideas have shaped modern thoughts and actions of humans in the 21st century. A number of studies have examined the notion of superstition but none has conducted a cross-cultural study of the Yorùbá culture in contrast to the Chinese culture despite the plethora of cultural convictions strongly upheld and somehow shared by these two different cultures. This paper investigates the varied ideologies employed in the crafting of superstitions in Yoruba and Chinese societies. It examines factors such as religion, ignorance, fear, luck, supernatural forces, and traditions to ascertain the sources and cultural drivers involved in the carving of superstitions in the two cultures. The paper adopts socio-psychological theory with data obtained through purposive sampling technique and content analysis. It argues that traditional practices and religions in Yorùbá and Chinese cultures have huge influences on the conceptualisation of human actions, morals, fate, luck, and prophecies in the two societies. It concludes that traditional societies cannot completely do away with superstitious beliefs and practices because they hold them as excessive credulous intuitions of morals and fate.