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NOTES CHAPTER 1 THE PROGRAM OF INTERACTION RITUAL THEORY 1. Even more misleading is the usage in a pejorative sense as an unthinking going through the motions, or meaningless fixation on mumbo-jumbo. 2. There is yet another usage in the field of animal ethology, sometimes borrowed in child development psychology. Here “ritualization” means abbreviated communicative gestures, which operate as “signals” to another organism in a habitual process of action, in contrast to “symbols,” which are conventions for referring to shared meanings (e.g., Tomasello 1999, 87). In this usage, ritualization is just a shorthand used in coordinating practical action, not a source of symbolic intersubjectivity. Despite the fact that the terminology is more or less reversed from that of sociological IR theory, we shall see in chapter 2 that work by Tomasello and others of this group of researchers does indeed corroborate important parts of IR theory. 3. Freud’s Totem und Tabu appeared in 1913, at the height of interest in these phenomena. Van Gennep’s Rites de Passage was published in 1909, Frazer’s Totemism and Exogamy and Lévy-Bruhl’s Les fonctions mentales dans les sociétés infe ́rieures in 1910, Durkheim’s Les formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse in 1912, the same year as Harrison’s Themis, Cornford’s From Religion to Philosophy, and Murray’s Four Stages of Greek Religion. Stravinsky’s controversial ballet music about a primitive rite, Le sacre du printemps, was first performed in Paris in 1912. 4. The line of criticism that the functionalist movement took against their predecessors made an exception for the Durkheim school, since Durkheim was strongly committed to a general science of society. Durkheim and Mauss paved the way for the functionalist program of studying rites and beliefs in their current context of social action rather than as isolated survivals of past history, although they also had more evolutionary concern with social change than did the movement of functionalist anthropologists. Durkheim did adopt an evolutionist stance that enabled him to view Australian aborigine society, because of its apparent simplicity, as an “elementary form” that would show both the evolutionary starting point of more complex societies, and reveal the analytically central processes of social solidarity and symbolism. Thus, although Malinowski was the organizational leader of what became known as the British school of social anthropologists, the members of that school tended to adopt Durkheimian theoretical formulations. This was notably the case with Radcliffe-Brown, who taught in South Africa and Australia independently of the group (Evans-Pritchard, Fortes, and others) that came from Malinowski’s seminar at the London School of Economics. Radcliffe-Brown was in contact with the Durkheim school via Mauss since the mid-1920s, and explicitly developed its theory of rituals (Goody 1995). 376 NOTES TO PAGES 14–21 5. There was a direct network transmission: Parsons was a member of the Malinowski seminar at LSE in the early 1930s, before beginning work on his systematic structural-functional theory (Goody 1995, 27); Merton was a student of Parsons at Harvard in the mid-1930s. 6. Durkheim (1912/1965) also analyzed mourning rites, but what he was concerned to show was that mourning is not spontaneous but obligatory by the group. He notes that assembling the group at the funeral results in a type of collective effervescence, albeit one based on a negative emotion. This gives us the mechanism by which Radcliffe-Brown’s (1922) functional integration is carried out: the collective emotion initiated by shared grief pulls individuals back into the group and gives them renewed strength. 7. “The rules of conduct which bind the actor and the recipient together are the bindings of society. . . . Opportunities to affirm the moral order and the society could therefore be rare. It is here that ceremonial rules play their social function. . . . Through these observances, guided by ceremonial obligations and expectations, a constant flow of indulgences is spread through society, with others who are present constantly reminding the individual that he must keep himself together as a well demeaned person and affirm the sacred quality of these others. The gestures which we sometimes call empty are perhaps in fact the fullest things of all” (Goffman 1956/1967, 90). 8. Old-fashioned usage best conveys the sense that “society” has in IR theory . Society is not a distant abstraction; it means what an upper class matron at the turn of the twentieth century would mean if she spoke of her daughter “going out into...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781400851744
Related ISBN
9780691123899
MARC Record
OCLC
268794099
Pages
464
Launched on MUSE
2016-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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