Tuesday, June 22, 2010

From ritual to performance?

This from the 2006 book entitled "Social Performance" (see my book list)

"The model of performance I am developing here provides a new way of looking at cultural and organizational change over broad spans of historical time. We can see differently how and why rituals were once so central to band and tribal societies and why the nature of symbolic action changed so remarkably with the rise of states, empires, and churches."

I'm intrigued but skeptical. Are modern "performances" really so categorically different than the rituals of yesteryear? Some people are arguing that attending university is often simply one extended ritual/performance without much intrinsic value.

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