Ritual as a Missing Link: Sociology, Structural Ritualization Theory, and Research

Book Info

  • Length: 208 pages
  • Trim size: 6" x 9"

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  • ISBN: 978-1-59451-856-0
  • Publish date: April 2012
  • List Price: $38.95
  • Your Price: $33.11


  • ISBN: 978-1-59451-855-3
  • Publish date: December 2010
  • List Price: $140.00
  • Your Price: $119.00


Why do people behave the way they do?” Up to now, ritual has been seriously underutilized for studying human behavior, i.e., ritual. The structural ritualization theory, attempts to narrow this gap in our understanding of the social causes and consequences of our actions by focusing on the ritualized behaviors that define much of our daily lives. Taking a broad approach to science in sociology this perspective is grounded in a commitment to three goals: the development of theory, substantiating these concepts through empirical evidence, and the application of this knowledge to social problems, dehumanizing conditions in contemporary society, and enriching our personal lives. This book is the first to comprehensively describe the structural ritualistic theory, which since its inception a decade ago, has developed in several directions involving different lines of cumulative research. This book shows how structural reproduction has occurred throughout the world, how rituals can be strategically used and power can influence rituals, and how the disruption of ritualized practices and the reconstitution of ritual subsequent to such events are of crucial importance for human beings. Weaving its way through the book Knottnerus discusses why ritual provides a missing link in sociology and helps us better explain the extreme complexity of human action and social reality.

Author Info

J. David Knottnerus is Professor of Sociology at Oklahoma State University. He recently coauthored Elder Care Catastrophe: Rituals of Abuse in Nursing Homes (Paradigm 2010).


1 Understanding Rituals in Everyday Life: Sociology and Structural Ritualization Theory
2 Analysis of Ritual Dynamics
3 Structural Reproduction in the World and Throughout History
4 Strategic Ritualization and Power: Nazi Germany, the Orange Order, and Native Americans
5 Disruption and Deritualization: Concentration Camp Internment and the Breakdown of Social Order
6 Ritual as a Missing Link Within Sociology: Current and Future Research
7 Social and Personal Life: Applications and Implications

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