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The Process of Ritual: a Twenty-Year Survey of Literature

Description: Use of the term "ritual" in PsycLit from 1975-1995 was examined through an archival study. Abstracts identified as including any form of the term were coded for valence, target population, study type, and differential area of interest. Valence was predominantly positive, consistent across time, with a growing negative trend. Interest in ritual has increased. Key elements of adaptive ritual were identified as recurrence across time, shared symbolism and volitional participation. A Dynamic Process of Ritual is proposed which includes the individual, society, and chaos in a fluctuating relationship, all operating within an additional dimension of a continuum of ritualization in which the individual's position is determined by personal and societal complexity and individual response to crisis.
Date: August 1998
Creator: Emmett, Gloria J.
Partner: UNT Libraries