Question Paper #09
Based on your notes, readings, and viewing of rites of passage videos, use Arnold Van Gennep’s basic three-stage structure of rites of passage, Victor Turner’s additional theoretical work on liminality and communitas, and other approaches to cultural anthropology you have learned…to write an analysis of a rite of passage in essay form that you have either personally observed or participated in (you were there in person). Make use of the cultural anthropology vocabulary words listed below in your analysis.
• Divide the rite of passage into the three stages (separation, transition, reincorporation) and describe what occurs in each stage (what is said, what actions are done, symbolic clothing/objects, actions, etc.). Do you recognize any liminal phases in the ritual? If so, describe them. If the rite of passage ritual is performed by a group, describe the communitas shared by the group.
• Were any performative speech acts part of the rite of passage? Describe the context (who, what, when (what stage), where, how, why) of the words spoken and what those words accomplished.
• Conclude by discussing your methodological approach – did you use an emic or etic approach or both? How did your awareness of cultural relativism affect your analysis?
Vocabulary words to use in your paper:
cultural relativism rite of passage Stage 1: Separation communitas
performative speech act
Stage 2: Transition symbolic/symbolism/symbolize(s)
liminality/liminal phase Stage 3: Reincorporation ritual
watch the videos below:
Girl’s Rite of Passage | National Geographic
Initiation With Ants | National Geographic
Blood Initiation | National Geographic
Flesh Branding | National Geographic
BID Day 2017 – A National Geographic Documentary
How did your awareness of cultural relativism affect your analysis?
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Question Paper #09
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