ritual/community/social structure

Dave Postles (pot@LEICESTER.AC.UK)
Sat, 4 Nov 1995 14:17:15 +0000

Hi, as an historian I'd like to request information about current thinking
about ritual, especially its relationship to 'community' and social structure.
In the 1960s and 1970s many (particularly medieval) historians accepted the
Durkheim/Malinowski/Victor Turner integrative approach to ritual. More
recently, the paradigm in favour amongst them is the communication of a sort of
social control and contested power. Of the recent literature, I've read
Catherine Bell's _Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice_ and Steven Harrison'spaper on
ritual as intellectual capital in _Man_. I've also read quite a bit of Maurice
Bloch's work too. How do anthropologists now view this issue -- are there
differences of approach or some consensus?
Finally, I hope that you would not object if I used any postings in response
in seminars here to illustrate points to our MA students.

Many thanks,
Dave Postles,
Dept of English Local History,
University of Leicester,