The Uses and Meaning of Liminality

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Abstract

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.
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.
LanguageEnglish
JournalInternational Political Anthropology
Volume2
Issue number1
Pages5-28
Number of pages24
ISSN1974-7268
StatePublished - 3 Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

@article{e7b670bc94e84aae8597db73d511818a,
title = "The Uses and Meaning of Liminality",
abstract = "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.",
author = "Bj\{o}rn Thomassen",
year = "2009",
month = "3",
day = "3",
language = "English",
volume = "2",
pages = "5--28",
journal = "International Political Anthropology",
issn = "1974-7268",
publisher = "Ficino Publications",
number = "1",

}

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

In: International Political Anthropology , Vol. 2, No. 1, 03.03.2009, p. 5-28 .

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

TY - JOUR

T1 - The Uses and Meaning of Liminality

AU - Thomassen,Bjørn

PY - 2009/3/3

Y1 - 2009/3/3

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

M3 - Journal article

VL - 2

SP - 5

EP - 28

JO - International Political Anthropology

T2 - International Political Anthropology

JF - International Political Anthropology

SN - 1974-7268

IS - 1

ER -