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Carnivals readings - Essay Example

Every social position within a society has sacred attributes, and such attributes are only gained through a rite of passage from one position to the other. The role of liminality is not to simply confer the sacred state of the social positions, but rather to act as the bond that unites society in its different levels and structures. Liminality acts as a bond without which there could be no society, since there could be no high, unless the low existed, while no society could be complete even without the social class like the hippies, who do not observe the rites of passage, but still demonstrate the requisite liminality behaviors (Turner, 1969:370). The state of the rite of passage represents a moment in life during which the lesser in society wields more power than the individuals who are well endowed politically, economically and socially, since the weakness dominates greatness during the rite of passage, denoted by the words, “Even if your child is a chief’s son, tomorrow he will be like a slave”, words spoken to mothers on the day before the initiation of their children (Turner, 1969:367).
The relevance of the rights of passage within a society is that; the rites of passage serve as the bridge through which men are released from structure into communitas, and will only go back to structure after their experience of the communitas (Turner, 1969:373).
The characteristics of liminality include: humility, passivity, nakedness and expression of the power of the weak, where the weak in society are the powerful in rituals, because they are the ones who administer them to the well-endowed, and those seeking to rise into a position of power in the society (Turner, 1969:368).
The difference between communitas and community is that; communitas refer to the social bond created by the socio-cultural systems of rites of passage to bond the society together and makes ...Show more
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Summary

Liminality is ambiguous and non-defined state during rites of passage that borders between life and death, characterized by total or full nakedness, humility and passivity, which is a symbolic representation of a womb and a grave, life and death (Turner, 1969:359). Liminality is…
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