LIMINALITY AND COMMUNITAS TURNER PDF

Victor Turner and anti-structure From the s through the early s, the classic structural functionalist view of rites of passage was challenged and revised. The charge was led by the British anthropologist Victor Turner, who acknowledged the contribution of structural functionalism to the study of rites of passage and of the broader category of ritual while pointing out its limitations. In his study of African rites of passage, The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure , Turner revealed the drama and flux of everyday social life and highlighted the agency of rites in effecting social change , which he considered to be their fundamental role. Rites enable participants to experiment with alternative social relations or to invent new ones. Participants in rites of passage may also engage in role reversal. Among the Ndembu people of Zimbabwe, for example, the crown-elect takes on the role of a commoner.

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Victor Turner and anti-structure From the s through the early s, the classic structural functionalist view of rites of passage was challenged and revised. The charge was led by the British anthropologist Victor Turner, who acknowledged the contribution of structural functionalism to the study of rites of passage and of the broader category of ritual while pointing out its limitations. In his study of African rites of passage, The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure , Turner revealed the drama and flux of everyday social life and highlighted the agency of rites in effecting social change , which he considered to be their fundamental role.

Rites enable participants to experiment with alternative social relations or to invent new ones. Participants in rites of passage may also engage in role reversal. Among the Ndembu people of Zimbabwe, for example, the crown-elect takes on the role of a commoner. Turner understood ritual and social structure to stand in a dialectical relationship. Ritual, including rites of passage, emerges in response to structure and its limitations.

Structure has the positive quality of organizing a society so it can meet its material needs, yet it also draws distinctions between human beings.

Although structure is a basic human need, according to Turner, so are directness and equality. Turner supported this thesis with another example from his study of the rite of passage for newly elected Ndembu kings. The rite in which the crown-elect, en route to his elevation as king, assumes the role of a commoner includes ritual humiliation. He is stripped of his royal stature and given lowly status before he is exalted. Humiliation serves to remind the future king that his office is designed to serve the people and their common needs rather than his own self-interest.

The social and ritual authorities who are concerned with maintaining the status quo often attempt to control rites of passage, which proscribe social statuses and identities in the face of changes and crises that may alter or challenge the standing social order. These reductionist approaches, according to some critics, often minimized or ignored the significance of the symbolic content of religious rites of passage and of religion itself.

The development of religious studies as an academic discipline in the early 20th century helped to draw attention to the existential and philosophical significance of religious beliefs and symbols for adherents of religions. Scholars of religious studies have emphasized the symbolic content of religious rites while examining belief systems and other symbolic dimensions in historical and social contexts.

These scholars of religion approach religious belief and experience as phenomena that have significance and are worthy of study in their own right. In their attempt to understand religion from the point of view of practitioners, some scholars have undergone ritual initiation into the religious community or group that is the subject of their study. Some contemporary scholars of religion have attempted to reinvent rites of passage for the many individuals who feel that the established religions of their societies do not address their needs.

The American ritual theorist Ronald Grimes, who founded the interdisciplinary field of ritual studies, has attempted to transcend detached scientific analysis by encouraging individuals to cultivate rites of passage and other rituals that would address existential crises in their own lives and enable them to discover personal meaning. Grimes created new rites for his own life and encouraged his university students to do the same; most reported that the new rites were more effective than traditional rites in helping them come to terms with life-changing events.

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Religion and Communitas: Structure and Anti-Structure

However, they might not know about the concept of communitas. Walking with strangers and sharing a goal with them leads you to create special bonds. A destination, a shared path, and an unexpected affinity can be magical. Anthropologist Victor Turner studied this phenomenon. He believed that pilgrimages could be divided into different stages. For him, pilgrimages involved leaving society and coming back a changed person. Turner believed that the most important part of a pilgrimage is the community it creates.

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Communitas

According to dictionary. What was once a world I cherished and adored, is now turned upside down and I am on the threshold of Betwixt-and-Between-Land. A state of liminality is one where the order of things has been suspended. It is an unsettling arena where I am learning to steer my vehicle and hoping very soon to guide it towards finding my new self. In liminality, the past is brought into play only briefly to review the loss. It is the future and the promise of transformation that I find so heartening about liminality. The idea of liminality was introduced into the field of anthropology in by Arnold Van Gennep in his work Les Rites de Passage.

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