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Rituals - Essay Example

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The best example given is with the child, who can see, recognize and enjoy the world which surrounds him, without the ability to say and name subjects and emotions. Our sense of seeing comes before we learn any words. This establishing seeing as the greatest and most powerful sense and determines our place in the surrounding world. What is why very often we find it difficult to express emotions, especially if we are surrounded by the natural environment (Berger, 1972). We are constantly struggling to appropriate what we see with the correct words we feel about that. So, we people have never settles a proper relationship between what we witness through our eyes and what we know through words about the world around (Berger, 1972). "It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world; we explain that world with words, but words can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it (Berger, p.7)."
social behaviour. Berger (1972) states that words play reduction role compared with the image. That is why in attempt to capture image in its most memorable way, in its purity and essence, people have rituals, some occur on a daily bases, others like traditions and saints days elude this role. Even though rituals are usually associated with religious beliefs and cultural belonging, there are activities that exist throughout our lives under different names - routines, responsibilities, duties or merely as habits. All these are patterns followed meticulously day in, day out. The daily rituals, and actions makes us feel in place and tend to signify our societal tasks. Berger (1972) notes that rituals are visual acts, because they situate the viewer in different perspectives, and people perceive actions through images - cultural or historical. In the act of viewing and witnessing rituals people build up their relations with others and construct their own perspectives about the surrounding. "Everything converges on to the eye as to the vanishing point of infinity (Berger, p.16)."

If we remove or alter our daily patterns of behavour, this will instantly cause tremendous stress over us. Individuals feel secure performing the familiar habits and when the norms are changed from outside, they think that everything is going out of control. So, if people are acting in improper way, society disconnects them. An intriguing moment is how Berger (1972) interprets relations between men and women. He observes that "according to usage and conventions which are at last being questioned but have by no means been overcome - men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at (Berger, p.45)." furthermore, Berger (1972) claims that in European art from the Renaissance period onward, women were

depicted in which a manner as showing that they are "aware of being see by a spectator (Berger, p.49)." The presentation rituals are what determine human relationships - class division, social differentiation, and formal and informal attitudes. Detaching proper social behaviour to both men and women serves as trajectory and protocol to who is in charge and who has to be submissive. Fuller (1981) reaffirms Berger's (1972) disposition on this matter noting that his book contrasts ...Show more


Throughout the centuries people's behaviour changed and passed an evolution. Just like every other creature human beings have written, and unwritten social, moral, ethical norms about how to behave in public, at home, with strangers. Therefore, social evolution transformed and modified people's reactions and daily routine…
Author : aylin84
Rituals essay example
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