The Ritual Institution of Society

Volume 2 - Traces SET Coordinated by Sylvie Leleu-Merviel

The Ritual Institution of Society

Pascal Lardellier, University of Burgundy, France

ISBN : 9781786303141

Publication Date : August 2019

Hardcover 212 pp

135.00 USD



This book demonstrates that our daily relations, like our most recognized institutions, are based on a symbolic foundation put in place by rituals. Rituals are present at every level of society and are an expression of the sacredness of society, as much as they are an expression of the cultures and eras that communicate through them.

An anthropological theorization is proposed and supported by concrete examples, taken from politics, academia, media and society. These give substance to the book’s analysis and prove that rituals are traces, as much as they are dimensions. Rituals mediate the sacred essence of the social body via its spectacular, formal and precautionary device.

The Ritual Institution of Society also offers an evaluation grid of the ceremonies of our era, and by comparing the works of classic authors such as Mauss, Hocart, Durkheim, Goffman, Balandier and Turner, it proposes original concepts that prove that a communicational reading of rituals is particularly pertinent. Essentially, it is an x-ray of modern times; an invitation to walk in the footsteps of the traces of rituals.


1. A Plurality of Anthropology, a Permanence of Symbolic Mediations.
2. The Ritual, a “Total Scientific Object”.
3. Rituals and the Media.
4. The Ritual Institution of Society.

About the authors/editors

Pascal Lardellier is Professor at the University of Burgundy, a researcher at CIMEOS and at PROPEDIA (IGS Group, Paris). Among his 20 books, several examine rituals in depth. This particular book proposes a summary of more than two decades of his research on them.