Institut for Kommunikation og Psykologi

Experience on the Edge: Theorizing Liminality

Experience on the Edge: Theorizing Liminality

By Brady Wagoner and Tania Zittoun (Eds.). This book focuses on theorising and applying the concept of liminality within psychology. The concept is needed to address those aspects of human experience and social life that fall outside of ordered structures. In contrast to the clearly defined roles and routines that define so much of industrial work and economic life, it highlights spaces of transition, indefiniteness, ambiguity, play and creativity.

Liminality has become a key concept within the social sciences, with a growing number of publications devoted to it in recent years. The concept is needed to address those aspects of human experience and social life that fall outside of ordered structures. In contrast to the clearly defined roles and routines that define so much of industrial work and economic life, it highlights spaces of transition, indefiniteness, ambiguity, play and creativity. Thus, it is an indispensable concept and a necessary counterweight to the overemphasis on structural influences on human behavior.

This book aims to use the concept of liminality to develop a culturally and experientially sensitive psychology. This is accomplished by first setting out an original theoretical framework focused on understanding the ‘liminal sources of cultural experience,’ and second an application of concept to a number of different domains, such as tourism, pilgrimage, aesthetics, children’s play, art therapy, and medical diagnosis. Finally, all these domains are then brought together in a concluding commentary chapter that puts them in relation to an overarching theoretical framework. 

This book will be useful for graduate students and researchers in cultural psychology, critical psychology, psychosocial psychology, developmental psychology, health psychology, anthropology and the social sciences, cultural studies among others.

More on the publisher's webpage