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WHAT IS "LIMINALITY"?

Migration, socio-cultural and symbolic adjustment

"The first phase comprises symbolic behaviour signifying the detachment of the individual or group from an earlier fixed point in the social structure, from a set of cultural conditions (a "state"), or form both. During the intervening "liminal" period, the characteristics of the ritual subject (the "passenger") are ambiguous; he passes through a cultural realm that few or none of the attributes of the past or coming state. In the third phase (reaggregation or reincorporation), the passage is consummated. The ritual subject, individual or corporate [...] is expected to behave in accordance with certain customary norms and ethical standards binding on incumbents of social position in a system of such positions."

"The attributes of liminality or of liminal personae ("threshold people") are neccessarily ambiguous, since this condition and these persons elude or slip through the network of classifications that normally locate states and positions in cultural space. Liminal entities are neither here nor there; they are betwixt and between the positions assigned and arrayed by law, custom, convention, and ceremonial."

Victor Turner, The Ritual Process (1969)