"To which extent is ritual involved in the formation of collective and personal identities? What are the mechanisms that are responsible for the (mostly pre-reflexive) constitution of identity in ritual; and - equally important - what are the strategies employed by social actors to actively influence and enhance these constitutive processes? In order to find answers to these essential questions, authors refer to case studies from their respective areas of field research such as Japan, Morocco, Taiwan, Korea, India, and the Azores. Kpping is professor of anthropology at the Institute of Ethnology at Heidelberg University and also guest-professor at Goldsmith College London. His research focusses on popular and folk-religious practices in Japan through the lens of performance theories. Leistle is a doctoral candidate at the Institute of Ethnology at Heidelberg University. In his research focussing on Moroocan trance rituals he concentrates on theories of the phenomenology of perception.
Rituals play a central role in the development of individual and collective identity. This is particularly true for young people. While they were previously made a subject of discussion under the aspects of stereotyping, rigidity and violence, this examination concentrates on productive moments of rituals that contribute to making and forming the identity of communities and individuals. In ritual processes, the body, the senses and the performative actions of all parties involved play an important role.
This book explores the importance of ritual and ritual theory to discourses of authenticity and originality, thereby deepening our insight into concepts of cultural heritage, identity and nation in a globalised world. The volume is the first interdisciplinary attempt to understand the significance of rituals and related performative traditions in the creation of grounded cultural identities, ‘home’ and heritage as geographically experienceable locations. It assembles perspectives from social and cultural anthropology, performance studies, education and arts that can deal with the politics of revitalisation and preservation of ritualised traditions. While some chapters in this book emphasise on the ritualisation of cultural heritage by concentrating on power relations and politics, as well as actual processes of identification, especially for marginalised ethnic groups or migrant communities, others explore how rituals as intangible heritage are strategically employed by different groups all over the world to make their claims public and to improve and negotiate their position on a local, national or global platform. This book recognises ritualised performances as transnational and cross-cultural phenomena, which are not only tied to and defined via national territories and identities but which also demand new theoretical and methodological approaches towards the discussion of rituals and heritage.
Media, Ritual and Identity examines the role of the media in society; its complex influence on democratic processes and its participation in the construction and affirmation of different social identities. It draws extensively upon cultural anthropology and combines a commanding overview of contemporary media debates with a series of fascinating case studies ranging from political ritual on television to broadcasting in the third world.
The essays collected in this book discuss ritual behaviour, particularly of religious groups, in plural and pluralist societies and in ancient as well as modern times. The strategic use of rituals is highlighted. Several theoretical analyses and a broad range of historical and ethnographic descriptions are offered.
In this innovative and comprehensive collection of essays Jack Lightstone and Frederick Bird document and interpret ritual practice among contemporary Canadian Jews. They particularly focus on the character and meaning of the public performance of the Sabbath liturgy in six urban Canadian synagogues, ranging from Orthodox to Reform, and from large congregations to a small house synagogue-yeshiva (rabbinic academy). Their examination of synagogue ritual is complemented with accounts of the ritual life of contemporary Canadian Jews outside the synagogue — amongst their families, within their homes and beyond. In contrast with other studies of Jewish observance, Lightstone and Bird document not simply which rituals are practised and how often; rather they stress the meaning, including the social meaning, of these rituals and treat them as complex symbolic systems. Their multidisciplinary approach together with their openness to include a wide variety of phenomena in their study (for example, the organization of the physical setting of the Sabbath, dress codes and patterns of greeting and handshaking) place this work at the very forefront of current research. Ritual and Ethnic Identity will be of great value to historians and sociologists of religion, anthropologists and all those concerned with religion, ritual and Canadian Jewish and ethnic studies.
This book analyzes the lives and the continuing ritual traditions of the Mayas who live in the United States. Focusing on a predominantly Maya town in rural Florida, it shows how members of this ancient Central American civilization use their religious tradition to maintain their ethnic identity in an unfamiliar environment. Bringing together studies of Mesoamerican fiesta or cargo systems, religious ritual and migration studies, this interdisciplinary work describes the religious traditions of indigenous Guatemala, the crisis migration of the 1980s, and the Mayas' daily life in the United States, including Maya women's reflections on their new challenges. The book is unique in its focus on the transfer of the fiesta cycle to the diaspora and its analysis of the behind-the-scenes aspects of ritual. The rise of leadership, contested interpretations of ethnic identity, choices about symbolic representation, and maintenance of ties to villages of origin all take place in the context of organizing public ritual events. Through these strategies, the Maya people not only cope materially and spiritually with the chaotic experience of uprootedness, but find ways to strengthen their unique identity. Bibliography. Index.
Ritual Practices in Congregational Identity Formation investigates the educational roles of ritual practices in the process of congregational identity formation. Son identifies and analyzes various kinds of Christian rituals with respect to how rituals influence the formational processes of a congregation’s identity. Based on Victor Turner’s ritual theory, this book also investigates the pedagogical and transformative efficacies of ritual practices within the dynamics of congregational education.
This book addresses the dynamics of interethnic relationships in ethnically mixed classrooms in the Czech Republic. The classroom is a space in which the boundaries and meanings of facets of identity such as ethnicity, class and gender are negotiated on a daily basis: using rich ethnographic data, the author grounds the analysis in a novel theoretical framework which uses the traditional concept of ritual to examine peer cultures. Highlighting the perspectives of the students themselves, their own peer cultures and the agency of the minority youth present in the classroom, the book reinforces the idea that the dynamics of peer culture can be the scene for successful peer inclusion strategies as well as a stage for the reproduction of inequalities. The author offers a rich array of data from post-socialist classrooms, which are almost invisible in the dominant debates surrounding ethnicity. This revelatory book will be of interest and value to students and scholars of social anthropology, the sociology of education and race and ethnicity in education, as well as practitioners working with minority youth.
Through her detailed description of a particular place (Kuzaki-cho) at a particular moment in time (the 1980s), D. P. Martinez addresses a variety of issues currently at the fore in the anthropology of Japan: the construction of identity, both for a place and its people; the importance of ritual in a country that describes itself as nonreligious; and the relationship between men and women in a society where gender divisions are still very much in place. Kuzaki is, for the anthropologist, both a microcosm of modernity and an attempt to bring the past into the present. But it must also be understood as a place all of its own. In the 1980s it was one of the few villages where female divers (ama) still collected abalone and other shellfish and where some of its inhabitants continued to make a living as fishermen. Kuzaki was also a kambe, or sacred guild, of Ise Shrine, the most important Shinto shrine in modern Japan—home to Amaterasu, the sun goddess. Kuzaki’s rituals affirmed a national identity in an era when attitudes to modernity and Japaneseness were being challenged by globalization. Martinez enhances her fascinating ethnographic description of a single diving village with a critique of the way in which the anthropology of Japan has developed. The result is a sophisticated investigation by a senior scholar of Japanese studies that, while firmly grounded in empirical data, calls on anthropological theory to construct another means of understanding Japan—both as a society in which the collective is important and as a place where individual ambitions and desires can be expressed.