Victor Witter Turner (1920 – 1983), working with his wife Edith Turner, was an anthropologist deeply concerned with ritual both in tribal communities and in the contemporary developed world. His early fieldwork in African villages in the 1950s was typical of the career development of field anthropologists at that time. He developed a special interest in rituals, seeing these as social drama in addition to the religious expression of the sacred. He drew on the work of Arnold van Gennep (1960, originally 1908) on rites of passage (viz. birth, marriage, death and sometimes puberty initiation), translated into English in 1960: Turner focused on the concept of limen, ‘threshold’ and the term liminality. He later applied this to all performance, including the theatr
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