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Burning Man: Transforming Community through Countercultural Ritual Process

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Burning Man: Transforming Community through Countercultural Ritual Process

McCaffrey, Jessica (2012) Burning Man: Transforming Community through Countercultural Ritual Process. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis will examine the countercultural event called Burning Man through the lens of the ritual process. Through the personal narratives of six main collaborators as well as my own ritual journey, I will outline how participation in countercultural social networks and events may lead to the creation of alternative moral practices which ultimately fuel the creation of communities. These communities do not organize according to conventional definitions of community and are often spontaneous and temporary. These spaces have been called Temporary Autonomous Zones (TAZ). TAZs allow participants to re-imagine and re-invent the rules for collective belonging and re-constitute what community is and how it is experienced. Many of my collaborators have stressed how important their Burning Man experience has been to the development of alternative moral practices. Burning Man, as an axis mundi of countercultural production and reproduction, can therefore be viewed as a pilgrimage which teaches initiates how to embrace countercultural moral practices in everyday life, these practices are embedded in new social movements whose aims are to revitalize cultural values through the lifeworlds of participants.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:McCaffrey, Jessica
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Social and Cultural Anthropology
Date:12 September 2012
Thesis Supervisor(s):Watson, Mark K.
ID Code:977249
Deposited By: JESSICA MCCAFFREY
Deposited On:19 Jun 2013 16:27
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:44

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