Biennale 5
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Performative Elements in Family Rituals

Auteur(s) : AUDEHM Kathrin, ZIRFAS Jörg

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Thème : L'intervention éducative
Groupe thématique : L'intervention sociale et l'éducation familiale
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Mots clés : Community, Interaction, Performative style, Ethnograph

bull2.gif (117 octets)   The main question of our project on family rituals is about the ritual production of social life under performative aspects. Rituals are the constitutive elements of family life. To a high degree they are occupied by emotions and symbols, and they determine daily behaviour, but also interaction and communication on holidays and anniversaries. They enable the balance between stability and change in families. Our point is: Families become social communities (Gemeinschaften) within verbal and nonverbal forms of interaction. These ritualized forms are constantly performed on the „family stage", and because of this performative matter roles, unity, intimacy, solidarity and integration in the family are possible. From this background family rituals occur such as 1. family celebrations, 2. family traditions, 3. patterned family interactions. In various combinations they create an individualized ritual life and performative style of the family. This style will be reconstructed with qualitative research methods (ethnography) to explain the performativity of ritual behaviour in human interactions, the contexts and the transformations of rituals in a „thick description".