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Which clippings match 'Victor Turner' keyword pg.1 of 1
23 DECEMBER 2014

Studenthood and identification: higher education as a liminal transitional space

"Studenthood is a distinctive form of identity because educational programmes themselves are almost invariably associated with transition. The formal status of being a 'student' is relatively clear cut in higher education, where people are required to undergo prescribed procedures which clearly designate them as being students. The status of student is also a transitory status, after which most will expect to become something else–a graduate, who will enjoy graduate status in a credentialist labour market.

We can therefore see higher education not only as a transitional space, but as being 'liminal'. This idea derives from the work of the social anthropologist, Victor Turner (1987), on tribal peoples who are in the midst of a passage from one status role to another. There are obvious reasons why Turner's idea of liminality cannot be transferred unproblematically to the types of status transition that are experienced in a very different type of society. Nevertheless, we argue, it is possible to draw on and develop Turner's work in thinking of a critical theory of retention."

(John Field and Natalie Morgan–Klein, 2010)

Field J & Morgan–Klein N (2010) "Studenthood and identification: higher education as a liminal transitional space" In: , Leeds: Education–line / British Education Index. 40th Annual SCUTREA Conference, University of Warwick.



2010 • become something else • becoming • constant state of becoming • credentialist labour market • critical theory of retention • educational programmes • graduate status • higher educationidentity • John Field • liminal experienceliminal spaceliminal stage • liminal transitional space • liminality • Natalie Morgan-Klein • prescribed procedures • rites of passage • status transition • studenthood • transition into and through universitytransitional rites • transitional space • transitory status • Victor Turner


Simon Perkins
18 JUNE 2011

Victor Turner: Liminality

"Liminal people or 'threshold people' are neither here nor there; they are betwixt and between the positions assigned and arrayed by law, custom, convention, and ceremonial. As such, their ambiguous and indeterminate attributes are expressed by a rich variety of symbols in the many societies that ritualize social and cultural transitions. Thus, liminality is frequently likened to death, to being in the womb, to invisibility, to darkness, to bisexuality, to the wilderness, and to an eclipse of the sun or moon."

(Victor Turner)

Turner, Victor (1974). "Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors: Symbolic Action in Human Society". Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press [].



agregation • ambiguity • ambiguous occasions • Arnold van Gennep • betwixt and between • birthbisexuality • ceremonial devices • ceremonies • communitas • comparative approach • comparative sociologist • continuous sequence • death • emotional importance • families and societies • funeral rituals • in utero • incorporationindividual and society • life-crises • liminal people • liminal stageliminalityliminality rites • marge • marginal status • marriage • mortuary • neither here nor there • normative stages • obligations • passage • phase • puberty • reaggregation • reintegration • responsibilities • rites • rites of passage • rites of separation • ritual process • sequential stages • social customs • social identity • social meaning • social role • social situation • social status • social transitions • socially betwixt and between • status passage • status transitions • threshold people • transformative ritual practices • transitiontransitional ritestransitions • tripartite pattern • tripartite structure • uncertain futureVictor Turner


Simon Perkins
28 JANUARY 2004

Communitas: Hybridization With, Aspects Of Social Structure

Stephen J. Arnott
It is important to recognise from the outset that communitas does not represent for Turner some ideal state of community which is only lost or subjugated through the prevalence of hierarchically organised social structures. The latter are patently necessary, and communitas as such only persists in their midst, au milieu. In Turner's words: "communitas is made evident or accessible, so to speak, only through its juxtaposition to, or hybridisation with, aspects of social structure."(Turner. 1995) This is to say, it does not require the destruction or collapse of social organisation, but takes place only within such a context and despite its hegemony. It exists only in the relation of 'coincidentia oppositorum' with social strata. Communitas is attributed several important qualities which mark its distinction from engineered community. It is existential, or in Deleuze and Guattari's terminology, 'territorialised', in the sense that it is not constituted by means of deterritorialized structures or ideological goals. It embodies or enacts potentialities yet to be stratified or incorporated into hierarchical structures. It is spontaneous in the sense that while it may be made manifest by ritual practices, its composition and effect are not foreseen, nor imagined to be easily incorporated into social organisation. Finally it is associated with experiences of liminality, marginality or structural inferiority which effect a temporary suspension of the hegemony of structure.


21 JANUARY 2004

Communitas Vs. Heterotopia

a relatively undifferentiated community, or even communion of equal individuals


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