To Meet without Actually Meeting: Cultural Models of Virtual Rituals in 3D Cyberspace

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    Abstract

    The study of cultural practice supported by the Internet could benefit from a cognitive anthropological description of the cultural models in use. This article suggests that such a description could be achieved by the application of a generative theory, i.e. Lawson & McCauley's theory of religious rituals. The subject of this study is two cultural practices supported by the 3D cyberspace system “Active Worlds”. The article briefly outlines the development of the system, the ritualized interaction structures, and the emergence of a central ritual: a wedding. Following this, Lawson & McCauley's theory is presented and a comparative analysis of virtual rituals in the two cultural practices is carried out. Finally, a cultural model of the virtual rituals is outlined and discussed.
    Translated title of the contributionAt mødes uden egentlig at mødes: Kulturelle modeller af virtuelle ritualer i 3D cyberspace
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationReligious Narrative, Cognition and Culture : Image and Word in the Mind of Narrative
    EditorsArmin Geertz, Jeppe Sinding
    Number of pages27
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherEquinox Publishing
    Publication date2011
    Chapter18
    ISBN (Print)9781845532949, 1-84553-294-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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