Between Ritual and Performance. Humanist Marriage Ceremonies in Poland
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Jagiellonian University
Publication date: 2020-06-24
Polish Sociological Review 2020;210(2):245–260
Poland is currently experiencing a growth in the number of humanist marriages: strongly individualized, mostly secular unions. So far, the described phenomenon has been analysed mainly through the prism of many different dimensions like secularity, class stratification or the resistance of minorities against the hegemony of the Roman Catholic Church. It seems that the nature of humanist ceremonies has been taken for granted, and that researchers, in their analyses, merely considered these to be rites of passage. In this paper, I ask questions not only about the content of the ceremonies, but also about their forms. I consider these two elements as integral. I put forward the claim that humanist marriages are a hybrid phenomenon, and thus the category of ‘social performance’ added to the category of ‘ritual’ opens up new analytical tracks and enables, to a greater extent, a more precise identification of the innovative character of these ceremonies.
This work was supported by the National Science Centre Poland (NCN), grant number 2018/29/N/HS6/01862.