Domingo, 10 de Julho de 2011

Liminal state



During the liminal stage, normally accepted differences between the participants, such as social class, are often de-emphasized or ignored. A social structure of communitas forms: one based on common humanity and equality rather than recognized hierarchy. '"Communitas"...has positive values associated with it; good fellowship, spontaneity, warm contact...unhierarchised, undifferentiated social relations'. For example, during a pilgrimage, members of an upper class and members of a lower class might mix and converse as equals, when in normal life they would rarely converse at all or their conversation might be limited to giving or receiving orders.Such collapsing of classes and occupations in the new community...a full-scale "Communitas" of equal beings may be of longer or short-lived duration.


In general, 'the undifferentiated presents itself as preliminary to (re-)differentiation'; in the meantime, however, the darker side of liminality may produce alongside communitas 'undifferentiated monsters-'the unsavoury agonistic side of the community..."the dark mirror of what humanity is"- as 'the dissolution of differences encourages the proliferation of the double bind.


One primary characteristic of liminality (as defined van Gennep and Turner) is that there is a way in as well as a way out. In ritual passages, “members of the society are themselves aware of the liminal state: they know that they will leave it sooner or later, and have ‘ceremony masters’ to guide them through the rituals”. However, in those liminal periods that affect society as a whole, the future (what comes after the liminal period) is completely unknown, and there is no "ceremony master" who has gone through the process before and that can lead people out of it.


This means that in their search for guidance, the individuals caught in the liminal situation might choose to follow a trickster, whom they confuse with a charismatic leader capable of “saving” them.



publicado por quaerendoinvenietis às 18:07
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