Rites of Passage

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  • Rites of Passage
    • Van Grennep said that all rituals follow 3 simple stages
      • 1st is the pre-liminal stage, were the participant is separated from his previous roles; symbolising the death of that stage of their life
        • 2nd is the liminal stage, were the participant is isolated alone and is in a limbo were they are apart of no life stage. They should reflect and endure whatever challenge that faces them, showing they are strong enough to join the group
          • 3rd is the post-liminal stage, were the participant is reintroduced into the community and this symbolises birth as they have made the transition from one life stage to other, it is usually met with a celebration
    • Gendered person
      • A person will become a gendered person once a ritual gives it to them, they have segregated roles and have certain norms and values assigned to them
      • There are 4 types of gender found globally; 2 genders, 3 genders, no gender or multiple genders
        • In Thailand they have man, women and "Kathoey" or "Ladyboys"
        • North American tribe say a person who is the third gender has two spirits within them and so they take on both man and women roles
        • IN India a man who dresses as a woman is called a "Hyra"
      • Hollel found that the Chewong tribe of Malaysia were an extremely peaceful tribe that almost had comlete gender equality
    • Types of rituals
      • Circumcision
        • Male
          • Xhosa believe that boys cannot progress into manhood. Their ritual consists of a surprise circumcision and during the liminal stage leaving the boy in a tent on his own for days without water, if he goes to hospital he is not welcome back into his society
          • Jewish rituals have circumcision 2-3 days after birth, it means that the boy has complete faith to the Torah
        • Female
          • The Maasai believe that without female circumcision that girls can never progress into womenhoood
            • Controversial as it can kill women through infection and men are taught that sadistic methods can be used to belittle women
              • Due to the 1st world attempting to ban it, the cases of female circumcision have risen
      • Celebrations and new names
        • Apeache tribes people recieve new names after days of vigorous dancing where they must show no emotion
    • Authors on rites of passage
      • Oakley found that women were believed to pollute nature through the menstrual cycle and child bearing
      • Ortner and Whitehead; Private and Public sphere's
        • Private Sphere; women's rituals were no practical knowledge may be gained
        • Public Sphere; men's rituals serve the purpose to prepare them for political roles within the society


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