Ritual dynamics: Mayor making in Early Modern Norwich

Douglas Ezzy, Gary Easthope, Victor Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Through a detailed analysis of a Guild Day ceremony in early modern England we demonstrate that liminal points in this ritual are interrelated to form a “pattern” or “dance” of liminal pulsations. We argue it is the felt necessity, on the part of participants, to complete that pattern that provides a dynamic to any ritual event. It impels participants to continue the ritual to its conclusion and leads them to resist any interference with the “flow” of the ritual. “Flow”, we assert, is thus both an interior state of participants and an exterior social characteristic of a ritual. It is created by the structuring of liminal points in a ritual, the liminal pulsations, but it achieves its dynamic by affecting the interior states of participants so that they feel impelled to “close off” the ritual and complete it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-419
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Historical Sociology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009

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