Re: Rites of Passage

Gerold Firl (
14 Aug 1996 19:37:03 GMT

In article <>, Shannon Adams <> writes:

|> that some theorists are explaining extreme aggression and meloncholy among
|> American adolescents to a lack of formal rites of passage.

Interesting idea.

|> I guess another question is do these
|> rituals have the same kind of mystical effect (this is coming from Victor
|> Turner so don't flame me) and personal and religious affirmation of status
|> (Eliade) that seem to be essential to these events.

Here's a secular point of view on why rites of passage are important to
people: they give the initiate a sense of confidence, a feeling that
they deserve to be doing what they're doing, they have the right to
fulfill the role they are playing. The rite operates to remove
self-doubt. It's something tangible to fall back on if there are any
doubts about whether you should be there. You've been publically
acknowleged as having a particular status, which is a useful boost when
you're having doubts.

I believe you suggested that signing divorce papers was a rite of
passage; I don't think that really falls into this category.

Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf