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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 [http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?GCOI=80140100135290].

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TAGS

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

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
03 JUNE 2005

Communitas: A Tree Structure of Urban Zones

"Communitas, Percival and Paul Goodman: Communitas is explicitly organised as a tree: it is first divided into four concentric major zones, the innermost being a commercial centre, the next a university, the third residential and medical, and the fourth open country. Each of these is further subdivided: the commercial centre is represented as a great cylindrical skyscraper, containing five layers: airport, administration, light manufacture, shopping and amusement; and, at the bottom, railroads, buses and mechanical services. The university is divided into eight sectors comprising natural history, zoos and aquariums, planetarium, science laboratories, plastic arts, music and drama. The third concentric ring is divided into neighbourhoods of 4000 people each, not consisting of individual houses, but of apartment blocks, each of these containing individual dwelling units. Finally, the open country is divided into three segments: forest preserves, agriculture and vacation lands. The overall organisation is a tree."
(Christopher Alexander, 1965)

Alexander, Christopher. 1965 'A city is not a tree' (Architectural Forum 122 – No. 1, pp. 58–61 and No. 2, pp. 58–62).

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TAGS

arborist • Christopher Alexander • communitashierarchy • Paul Goodman • Percival Goodman • semilatticetreeurban planningzone
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.

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21 JANUARY 2004

Communitas Vs. Heterotopia

a relatively undifferentiated community, or even communion of equal individuals

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