Sociology Index


Rites of passage is the ritual or ceremonial acknowledgment of a person's passage from one stage of life to the next. Examples of rites of passage are, the graduation ceremony, the retirement party or onset of puberty.

Many cultures provide a ritualized acknowledgment of the passage to adulthood but sociologists note that rites of passage has all but disappeared from modern societies. Ritualized acknowledgment of the passage to puberty, that is, the period during which adolescents girls reach sexual maturity and become capable of reproduction, is a common practice in India.

In India, when a man reaches the age of sixty he is considered to have lived a full and fruitful life and the rites of passage to this stage is celebrated with rituals for a new beginning. Couples go through the ceremony of marriage again.

Rites of Passage and Group Bonding in he Canadian Airborne - Donna Winslow, University of Ottawa. -This article addresses the issue of primary group bonding and non-conventional methods for promoting unit cohesion. Conventional army training intensifies the power of group pressure within its ranks using methods that teach recruits the need for teamwork. Less conventional methods, such as initiation rites, are also used to promote group bonding.

This report examines initiation rites in the Canadian Airborne Regiment, beginning with a brief description of the Regiment and then examining formal initiation to the regiment- the Airborne Indoctrination Course, informal initiation rites, Airborne initiation rites are discussed in detail by using models developed in anthropology to describe rites of passage in traditional societies, rites that occur in three stages, the first occurring when the initiates' former identity is stripped away and they are set apart and made very similar to one another. They are then "leveled" into a homogeneous group, by suppressing individuality, and thus encouraging an investment in the group. They then enter the liminal phase of the rite, where events become parodies and inversions of real life, a stage in which group bonding is reinforced as the initiates undergo standard processes of testing and humiliation. Finally, they are reincorporated into the group as members of the regiment. We then look at hazing and other rites of passage in the Canadian Airborne Regiment, and conclude with a discussion of the use of extreme initiation in primary group bonding.

Rites of Passage at Adolescence: A Ritual Process Paradigm 
Richard M. Dunham, Jeannie S. Kidwell, Florida State University 
Stephen M. Wilson, Montana State University 
Concepts which relate rites of passage to the developmental process at adolescence are reviewed. Selected concepts are assembled to serve as a new interdisciplinary paradigm of ritual processes affecting development. The new paradigm is offered as an elaboration of the classic tripartite paradigm of vanGennep (1909), from the original three steps to fourteen. 

Reflections on "Rites, right? The rites of passage of cross-disciplinary concepts: The value of rites de passage for dealing with today's career transitions" 
Altman Yochanan; Holmes Len
Source: Career Development International, Volume 10, Number 1, 2005, pp. 67-70(4)
Abstract: Purpose - Mayrhofer and Iellatchitch's discussion of rites of passage in the context of contemporary careers raises some concerns as to the usefulness of the concept as well as to its transferability across disciplines. This rejoinder maintains that, while the employment of rites of passage should be welcomed, its use in career discourse should be made with caution and reserve. Design/methodology/approach - Asks searching questions in pursuit of the above.

The Rites of Passage Youth Empowerment Program is an intensive, focused and sustained preventive and/or intervention approach to empower youth with the knowledge, skills and abilities to transition successfully from adolescence into adulthood. Youth completing the 12 challenges of the program will be equipped with the tools necessary to effect positive change in their lives and communities. Through the Rites of Passage Program, youth learn through empowerment not fear. This program teaches, teamwork, leadership, values, responsibility and practical life skills.

The Rites of Passage Youth Empowerment Foundation ("the Foundation") is a group of individuals committed to improving the quality of life and environment for today�s youth through the development and implementation of knowledge and skill-based training programs (Rites Programs). These programs provide a step-by-step holistic method to help youth find a sense of self and purpose in their lives. The Rites of Passage Youth Empowerment Foundation formalizes the training ground of the Rites Programs by providing support through funding and human resources to facilitators of these programs. Rites Programs help youth direct their energies to positive goals for their life, instead of the slippery road into drugs, delinquency and pregnancy.