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Lecture 17

Lecture 17 - Liminality.docx

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Department
English
Course Code
ENGL 1000Y
Professor
Diepeveen

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Liminality - Borders
Liminal – rituals in different cultures
oInitiation; rites of passage
oPersonal going through the liminal experience separates from ordinary
society
oThen there is a liminal period – aren’t what they used to be, aren’t what
they will be; a transitional period
oThey are eventually re-assimilated
Graduation is a liminal experience
You all put on a gown, so you all look the same
Hazing is also a liminal experience
Crossing a border can be an example of a liminal experience
oEspecially if you are crossing the border to immigrate into another country
oLiminal experiences raise really interesting questions (often sources of
anxiety)
Borders, as places of transition, create anxiety
Borders raises really important political issues
oFirst Nations groups and citizenships
oBorders have something to do with authority and category
“When I was 12, maybe 13, my mother announced that we were going to go to
Salt Lake City to visit my sister who had left the reserve, moved across the line,
and found a job”
othe border is called the line
oon one side, people who fit into the category of Canadian; other side,
American
Category Theory
oThere are two kinds of categories: classical and radial or fuzzy
Classical category theory
Something either is an even number or it’s not
You’re either in the category of even numbers, or you’re
outside. IT HAS HARD EDGES
There’s no better or worse example of the category (4 isn’t
a better even number than 12)
Radial/fuzzy
The category of games
You can have two different activities belonging to that
category, and they SHARE NO CHARACTERISTICS AT
ALL with each other, but we still call them both games
Often, these fuzzy characters (in which you can be a better
or less good example), are cultural activities
Eg: when you show people a whole bunch of birds, most
people say the robin is a better bird than an ostrich

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Description
LiminalityBordersLiminalritualsindifferentculturesoInitiationritesofpassageoPersonalgoingthroughtheliminalexperienceseparatesfromordinarysocietyoThenthereisaliminalperiodarentwhattheyusedtobearentwhattheywillbeatransitionalperiodoTheyareeventuallyreassimilatedGraduationisaliminalexperienceYouallputonagownsoyoualllookthesameHazingisalsoaliminalexperienceCrossingabordercanbeanexampleofaliminalexperienceoEspeciallyifyouarecrossingthebordertoimmigrateintoanothercountryoLiminalexperiencesraisereallyinterestingquestionsoftensourcesofanxietyBordersasplacesoftransitioncreateanxietyBordersraisesreallyimportantpoliticalissuesoFirstNationsgroupsandcitizenshipsoBordershavesomethingtodowithauthorityandcategoryWhenIwas12maybe13mymotherannouncedthatweweregoingtogotoSaltLakeCit
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