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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} In anthropology, liminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning "a threshold"<ref>"liminal", Oxford English Dictionary. Ed. J.A. Simpson and E.S.C. Weiner. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989. OED Online Oxforde 23, 2007; cf. subliminal.</ref>) is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the ritual is complete. During a ritual's liminal stage, participants "stand at the threshold"<ref>("Nordic Work with Traumatised Refugees: Do We Really Care", edited by Gwynyth Overland, Eugene Guribye, Birgit)</ref> between their previous way of structuring their identity, time, or community, and a new way, which the ritual establishes.

The concept of liminality was first developed in the early 20th century by anthropologist Arnold van Gennep and later taken up by Victor Turner.<ref>"Liminality and Communitas", in "The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure" (New Brunswick: Aldine Transaction Press, 2008).</ref> More recently, usage of the term has broadened to describe political and cultural change as well as rituals.<ref>Bjørn Thomassen, The Uses and Meanings of Liminality (International Political Anthropology 2009) p. 51</ref> During liminal periods of all kinds, social hierarchies may be reversed or temporarily dissolved, continuity of tradition may become uncertain, and future outcomes once taken for granted may be thrown into doubt.<ref>Agnes Horvath, Bjørn Thomassen, and Harald Wydra, Introduction: Liminality and Cultures of Change (International Political Anthropology 2009)</ref> The dissolution of order during liminality creates a fluid, malleable situation that enables new institutions and customs to become established.<ref>Arpad Szakolczai, Liminality and Experience: Structuring transitory situations and transformative events (International Political Anthropology 2009) p. 141</ref> The term has also passed into popular usage, where it is applied much more broadly, undermining its significance to some extent.<ref>Thomas Barfield, The Dictionary of Anthropology (1997) p. 477</ref>


Liminality sections
Intro  Rites of passage  Communitas  Types  Liminal experiences in large-scale societies  Depth psychology  Examples of general usage  Liminoid  See also  Notes  Bibliography  

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