degradation ceremony

degradation ceremony

the communicative work which transforms a persons entire status and identity to something lower (GARFINKEL, 1956). The guilty offender in a court trial, for example, is reduced to a degraded status as ‘murderer’ or ‘thief. This has implications for the offender's total identity as a human being. According to Garfinkel, the existence of such ceremonies are in ‘dialectical contrast’ to, and also demonstrate, the ‘ultimately valued, routine orders of personnel and action’ within society. See also DEVIANCE AMPLIFICATION, ETHNOMETHODOLOGY.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
References in periodicals archive ?
(An obvious route out of this impasse would have been to have included those novellas which do--quite unambiguously--revolve around a legal process.) For example, in her analysis of Amphitryon she claims that 'although the situation between Sosias and Merkur does not fit the parameters of an official trial it does conform to Garfinkel's definition of a trial as a "status degradation ceremony" (p.
Even when the boy apologized, the coordinator evinced utter cynicism when he retorted dismissively, |That's what you said last time.' This was a fully fledged degradation ceremony rather than an attempt at reintegration.
In the extraordinary cases where offenders are such a danger to the community that incarceration is defensible, we should not give up on pushing for reintegration, even though the degradation ceremony of confinement makes this maximally difficult.