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Types Liminality has both spatial and temporal dimensions, and can be applied to a variety of subjects: individuals, larger groups (cohorts or villages), whole societies, and possibly even entire civilizations.<ref>Thomassen 2009, 16</ref> The following chart summarizes the different dimensions and subjects of liminal experiences, and also provides the main characteristics and key examples of each category.<ref>Thomassen 2009, 16</ref>

Individual Group Society
Moment
  • Sudden event affecting one’s life (death, divorce, illness) or individualized ritual passage (baptism, ritual passage to adulthood, as for example among the Ndembu).
  • Ritual passage to adulthood (almost always in cohorts); graduation ceremonies, etc.
  • A whole society facing a sudden event (sudden invasion, natural disaster, a plague) where social distinctions and normal hierarchy disappear;
  • Carnivals;
  • Revolutions.
Period
  • Critical life-stages;
  • Puberty or teenage years.
  • Ritual passage to adulthood, which may extend into weeks or months in some societies;
  • Group travels;
  • Going to university, college or taking a gap year.
  • Wars;
  • Revolutionary periods.
Epoch (or life-span duration)
  • Individuals standing “outside society”, by choice or designated;
  • Monkhood;
  • In some tribal societies, individuals remain “dangerous” because of a failed ritual passage;
  • Twins are permanently liminal in some societies.
  • Religious Fraternities, Ethnic minorities, Social minorities, Transgender;
  • Immigrant groups betwixt and between;
  • Old and new culture;
  • Groups that live at the edge of “normal structures”, often perceived as both dangerous and “holy”.
  • Prolonged wars, enduring political instability, prolonged intellectual confusion; Incorporation and reproduction of liminality into “structures”;
  • Modernity as "permanent liminality".

Another significant variable is “scale,” or the “degree” to which an individual or group experiences liminality.<ref>Thomassen 2009, 17</ref> In other words, “there are degrees of liminality, and…the degree depends on the extent to which the liminal experience can be weighed against persisting structures.".<ref>Thomassen 2009, 18</ref> When the spatial and temporal are both affected, the intensity of the liminal experience increases and so-called “pure liminality” is approached<ref>Thomassen 2009, 18</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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