Title

Applications of a Theory of Rite of Passage on Change in Occupational Beings

Start Time

29-10-2005 1:00 PM

End Time

29-10-2005 2:40 PM

Abstract

The purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate the applicability of van Gennep’s (1960) theory on the stages of rite of passage rituals and ceremonies in understanding change in occupational beings. After having observed rite of passage rituals and ceremonies throughout the world, van Gennep proposed they categorically were comprised of three stages, separation, transition, and incorporation, regardless of the form or intention. Further, he believed that the essential function of ceremonies was to enable the individual to pass from one defined position into another position, such as single to married or from childhood to adulthood, with minimizing the potential harmful effects that can accompany significant life changes.

In my dissertation research, I have been examining the role of occupations in bringing about recovery from life crisis. As my data source, I have drawn from the contemporary Japanese novel, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle written by Haruki Murakami, because of the ability of such texts to present one perspective (the author’s) on the complexity of human life. Through qualitative research methods, I examined the life courses of eight characters. The analysis centered on a combination of narrative, phenomenological, and historical elements to uncover each character’s unique trajectory of healing. I found that for all eight characters, even in this literary text, van Gennep’s theory seemed to apply as each character seemed to pass through three stages, though they differed somewhat from van Gennep’s original conceptualization and which I renamed Crisis, Transition, and Reintegration. Additionally, I noted that in each story a prior stage, which I named Preliminary, preceded the crisis period during which the character’s life was stable and filled with routinized occupations. In the crisis phase, the characters feel the loss of who, what, and where they are as well as deprivation and alienation from their typical occupations. In the transition phase, they begin to engage in occupations, many of which are unfamiliar. In the Reintegration phase, the characters begin to establish a new daily routine which gives order to their lives. The role occupation plays in these change trajectories will be emphasized in the presentation.

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Oct 29th, 1:00 PM Oct 29th, 2:40 PM

Applications of a Theory of Rite of Passage on Change in Occupational Beings

The purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate the applicability of van Gennep’s (1960) theory on the stages of rite of passage rituals and ceremonies in understanding change in occupational beings. After having observed rite of passage rituals and ceremonies throughout the world, van Gennep proposed they categorically were comprised of three stages, separation, transition, and incorporation, regardless of the form or intention. Further, he believed that the essential function of ceremonies was to enable the individual to pass from one defined position into another position, such as single to married or from childhood to adulthood, with minimizing the potential harmful effects that can accompany significant life changes.

In my dissertation research, I have been examining the role of occupations in bringing about recovery from life crisis. As my data source, I have drawn from the contemporary Japanese novel, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle written by Haruki Murakami, because of the ability of such texts to present one perspective (the author’s) on the complexity of human life. Through qualitative research methods, I examined the life courses of eight characters. The analysis centered on a combination of narrative, phenomenological, and historical elements to uncover each character’s unique trajectory of healing. I found that for all eight characters, even in this literary text, van Gennep’s theory seemed to apply as each character seemed to pass through three stages, though they differed somewhat from van Gennep’s original conceptualization and which I renamed Crisis, Transition, and Reintegration. Additionally, I noted that in each story a prior stage, which I named Preliminary, preceded the crisis period during which the character’s life was stable and filled with routinized occupations. In the crisis phase, the characters feel the loss of who, what, and where they are as well as deprivation and alienation from their typical occupations. In the transition phase, they begin to engage in occupations, many of which are unfamiliar. In the Reintegration phase, the characters begin to establish a new daily routine which gives order to their lives. The role occupation plays in these change trajectories will be emphasized in the presentation.