Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963879 | Print ISBN: 9781412926942 | Online ISBN: 9781412963879| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Rites of Passage
Shaconna Marie Haley
Rites of passage are sacred rituals and ceremonies that mark the transition from one life stage to another and assist in the acculturation and secondary socialization of individual community members. For many racial and ethnic groups in the United States, the rituals and traditions of their ancestral roots have remained salient in contemporary rites and life-cycle rituals. These rituals link generations, showing reverence for the traditions of Chinese, Latino, African, Palestinian, and Indian Americans. This entry begins with a quick look at scholarship on rites of passage, then reviews some rituals specific to particular ethnic communities. Arnold Van Gennep's theoretical model of rites of passage highlights the ceremonial act that accompanies the progression from one age or occupational group to the next. In this model, rites of passage have a common tripartite structure that can be observed in all cultures and can be broken into three phases: separation, when the ...