Communitas is inspired fellowship; a group's pleasure in sharing common experiences; being 'in the zone' - as in music, sport, and work; the sense felt by a group when their life together takes on full meaning. The experience of communitas, almost beyond strict definition and with almost endless variations, often appears unexpectedly. Convert currency. Add to Basket. Book Description Palgrave Macmillan, Condition: New.

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To browse Academia. Skip to main content. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Turner, Edith. Communitas: The Anthropology of Collective Joy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Durham Anthropology Journal, Hence Turner explicitly avoids to impose any other framework on her diverse ethnographic material than associations between the stories and the scenes connecting them.

This evocative collection aims to discover instances of communitas in their immense variety. After distinguishing between false and genuine communitas Ch. Heading from familiar situations embedded in the texture of everyday life Turner enumerates narratives of connectedness in carnivals and festivals Ch. In many ways the first four chapters are the most convincing of the book. Chapter 1 demonstrates the futility of deliberate acts to create communitas through planned stages of togetherness in workplace interactions, where the power relations between employees prevent spontaneous feelings of belonging to flourish, illustrating the inherent informality of the experience.

Following, chapters 5 and 6 deal with communitas occurring in situations of disaster and during revolutions, challenging the claim of the inherent democratic nature of communitas set out in the Introduction pp.

Although the ethnographic validity of people helping each other during floods and feeling that it was an event of close social relationships is unquestionable, reducing mutual help to an overwhelming feeling of togetherness, failing to address the inescapably political nature of the presence of relief personnel make communitas a concept unfortunately lacking explanatory potential.

Apart from expressing the presence of communitas in a situation of ruptured social cohesion, the account cannot shed light to either the nuances of cooperation or the role of communitas in the practicalities of disaster relief. This inherently political, but rather reductive presentation of the acts of politically inspired crowds can at best lead to blurred, ethnographically thin accounts, but at worst it can lead to serious ethical and epistemological problems.

The last two chapters return to less politically connotated themes, nature and rites of passage. Describing indigenous experiences from the Arctic, Guyana and elsewhere Turner stresses the importance of the shared experience linking humans and non-human animals in the experience of communitas, proving the arbitrariness of the nature-culture divide.

Again, methodological and epistemological explanations are lacking, but the ethnographic material is rich and diverse, making the chapter 8 more convincing than the previously presented ones.

Though a colourful, enjoyable collection of evocative narratives, the methodological or conceptual points — if any — made in the book lapse into limitless accumulation of examples, missing definitions and an overtly romantic humanism.

Diana Vonnak Related Papers. By Seth Mallios. By Graham St John. Do you believe in pilgrimage? Communitas, contestation and beyond. By Simon Coleman. By Michael Di Giovine. Download pdf. Remember me on this computer. Enter the email address you signed up with and we'll email you a reset link.

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Communitas: The Anthropology of Collective Joy

To browse Academia. Skip to main content. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Turner, Edith.


ISBN 13: 9780230339057

In these days of social, political, and ecological gloom, it's easy to become cynical. Everyday we are bombarded with news of racial prejudice, religious intolerance, economic inequality and xenophobia. Donald Trump , a man who is unabashedly racist, homophobic and misogynistic is about to become the Republican Party 's nominee for President of the United States. Many of them appear to be unaware of the economic and social consequences of their vote. As scholars it's hard to know how to confront these dismal events in the world. How do we discuss ongoing problems that threaten to shred the global social fabric and bring widespread social, political and economic chaos.

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