Re: Rites of Passage
14 Aug 1996 01:48:02 GMT

In article <>, Shannon Adams writes:

>I am just finishing a paper dealing with a rite of passage among
>the people I studied. But I have a few curiosity questions for all you
>theorists and ethnographers.
>What purpose do rites of passage serve beyond the transfer of status?
>Is there some social-psychological motivation? What are the implications

>for secular (not ritual) peoples?
Consider the phenomenon that things that are easily gotten aren't valued
(socially) or appreciated (at an individual level) as much as those things
you've got to struggle and sweat for. Rites of passage may in themselves
be ordeals, or they may celebrate the fact that one has surmounted an
ordeal. Think of fraternity hazing. Think of the Bakatman described by
Barth, the Gnau described by Lewis.