rite of passage

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rite of passage

, rite de passage
a ceremony performed in some cultures at times when an individual changes his status, as at puberty and marriage

rite of passage

or

rite de passage

the ceremony and RITUAL which may accompany the changes of STATUS that occur in the course of the life cycle, e.g. the MARRIAGE ceremony, or in present-day Britain, 18th-birthday parties. Such ceremonies are a way of drawing attention to changes in status and social identity; they are also a way of managing the tensions such changes may involve, e.g. the amalgamation of two families. An alternative term for such ritual is status passage. See also LIMINALITY, RITUAL.