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Ritual Change and Social Transformation in Migrant Societies

Edited By Hans-Georg Soeffner and Dariuš Zifonun

Migration involves change of geographical place, social relations and cultural habits. This volume brings together contributions from an international group of scholars including studies of ritual change and social transformation in Singapore, Germany and the US.
In situations of change, individuals as well as social groups mobilize rituals to reaffirm a sense of identity. Usually thinking of rituals as fixed sets of symbolic behaviour, handed down through generations, migration forces a fresh look at rituals: that they are open to change and adjustment as well as means of social transformation. The authors show the challenge of the transformation of symbolic behaviour for those who experience spatial and social change. They emphasise that ritual change is also common when cultures become intercultural.
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Modernity and Ritual Transformations in Chinese Ancestor Worship

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This chapter describes the ritual worship of the ancestor conducted at home and in the ancestral hall and finally the annual rituals performed at the graveyard during the Qing Ming celebrations. Because of the immigrant status of the Chinese in Singapore, the family and kinship organizations that existed in traditional China are not completely duplicated. This chapter will examine the effects of socioeconomic transformations on ritual performance2 and the extent to which the changing occupational and residential patterns have affected religious ideas and rituals.

Home-Based Ancestor Worship

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