Arosio [Abstract]

Old and new rites of passage in contemporary Western societies: A focus on marriage and divorce ceremonies
[Full text]

Laura Arosio [1]

Abstract:  This article deals with ceremonial behaviors related to changes of status in individuals’ life courses, that is to say, with rites of passage. Drawing on Arnold van Gennep’s classic book on Les rites de passage, we first discuss their meaning and explore their persistence over time. In contemporary societies some rites die out, others assert themselves. We suggest that this is the case of divorce rites. With the demise of the circumstances that prevented divorce from being considered a transition event in the lives of individuals, the need has arisen to create ceremonial rites for the end of marriage. In this light, we interpret the growing interest in phenomena such as divorce ceremonies and divorce parties.

Keywords: Celebration studies, rites of passage, marriage, divorce, divorce ceremony

[1] University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy,