The Uses and Meaning of Liminality

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Resumé

This article introduces the work of Arnold van Gennep and traces the intellectual history of the concept of liminality. After considering the relative neglect to which van Gennep’s work was exposed until Victor Turner’s “discovery” of van Gennep in the 1960s, the article indicates different fields or topic areas in which the concept of liminality may be applied. In reference to liminal periods undergone by whole societies, the article raises a series of questions concerning possible problems in applying the concept of liminality in fields different from its origin, i.e. ritual passages in small-scale societies. Finally, the article raises a central question that was indeed posed by Max Weber, although with a different terminology, concerning the relationship between liminal experiences and the establishment of permanent structures, the “lasting effects” of answers produced in “extra-ordinary moments”: the extent to which “structure” or “order” is indeed always born in liminality.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftInternational Political Anthropology
Vol/bind2
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)5-28
Antal sider24
ISSN1974-7268
StatusUdgivet - 3 mar. 2009
Udgivet eksterntJa

Citer dette

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The Uses and Meaning of Liminality. / Thomassen, Bjørn.

I: International Political Anthropology , Bind 2, Nr. 1, 03.03.2009, s. 5-28 .

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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