Accepted Paper:

Rituality: a form of hidden ritual  


Janusz Baranski (Jagiellonian University)

Paper short abstract:

The paper deals with the contemporary kind of ritual, i.e. rituality. The term 'derivative of ritual' covers various forms of symbolic reflective behaviour (from shaking hands to watching television) that constitute of human life world.

Paper long abstract:

The paper's theoretical point of departure is Barthes' concept of mythicity (le mythique) which he invented in order to grasp new forms of myths dispersed in various forms of public discourse. According to Barthes, mythical stories of old times do not exist any more but their functions are currently fulfilled by the practices and texts of literature, art, popular culture, politics etc. The paper asserts that although older institutionalized and formalized rituals did not completely dissapear from the cultural landscape of contemporary world, they were partially replaced by the practices of rituality: ways of moving, dressing, arranging interior design, using particular items, attending cultural entertainments etc. These forms of rituality could be regarded in terms of the rhetoric of human action. The concept of rituality is close to the concepts of performative utterances (Austin), liminoid (Turner), and habitus (Bourdieu). The moment of reflection relates to Csikszentmihalyi's concept of flow in which one experiences oneself in two ways: being aware of one's action but not being aware of the one's awarness.

Panel IW08
World in Europe