Here is the list of Turner’s binary oppositions that he uses to characterise liminality vs the typical social & cultural structure:

Transition / state
Totality / partiality
Homogeneity / heterogeneity
Communitas / structure
Equality / inequality
Anonymity / systems of nomenclature
Absence of property / property
Nakedness or uniform clothing / distinctions of clothing
Sexual abstinence / sexuality
Minimization of status and sex distinctions / distinctions of rank and gender
Humility / just pride of position
Disregard for personal appearance / care for personal appearance
No distinctions of wealth / distinctions of wealth
Unselfishness / selfishness
Total obedience / obedience only to superior rank
Sacredness / secularity
Sacred instruction / technical knowledge
Silence / speech
Suspension of kinship rights and obligations / kinship rights and obligations
Continuous reference to mystical powers / intermittent reference to mystical powers
Foolishness / seriousness
Simplicity / complexity
Acceptance of pain and suffering / avoidance of pain and suffering
Heteronomy and passivity / degrees of autonomy

This is from chapter 3 (p106), Liminality & Communitas, of The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure, 1969.  This chapter also covers the Rule of St. Benedict, Millenarian Movements and the Beat Generation that we spoke about this morning and ties in the idea of communitas, that intense bonding and egalitarianism that often takes place during liminal rites.

For further reading check out Turner’s The Forest of Symbols: Aspects of Ndembu Ritual, 1967, specifically ch 4.

Advertisements