Healing Rites of Passage: Salutogenesis in Serious Fun Camps, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Healing Rites of Passage

Salutogenesis in Serious Fun Camps, 1st Edition

By Peter James Kearney


146 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780415791243
pub: 2018-10-17
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315212463
pub: 2018-10-25
from $27.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


This book examines how ‘Therapeutic Recreation’ transforms the social health of children enduring or recovering from life-threatening illnesses such as cancer and leukaemia. With studies drawn from ‘Serious Fun’ projects in the USA, the UK, France, Ireland and Israel, the author explores how camp experiences in convivial circumstances help to bring about healing. Employing central concepts from sociology and anthropology, such as 'liminality', 'mimesis' and 'salutogenesis', Healing Rites of Passage explains why a brief secluded holiday can reform the campers’ shared situation of life-threatening illnesses towards health and flourishing. The whole process can be understood in terms of a 'rite of passage', as structured camp experiences enable children to shed previous ‘sick roles’ and pass through a series of challenges in order to achieve social re-integration with a renewed zest for living. An empirically grounded study that reveals the analytic value of master concepts in the social sciences, this book will appeal to scholars in the fields of sociology, anthropology, paediatrics, social theory and the sociology of health, illness and medicine.

Table of Contents


Series Editor’s Foreword



1. Hope and Heartbreak in Paediatric Oncology

2. Serious Fun Experiences

3. Mirage: The Medical Paradigm of Health

4. Salutogenic Experiences: Liberating the Butterfly

5. Healing Rites of Passage

6. Genesis and Mimesis

7. Triangles of Desire: Mime Artists on a Pedestal

8. The Magi: Three Wise Men Bearing Gifts

9. Genealogy of the Camp Embrace

10. Serious Fun International




About the Author

Peter James Kearney is Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics and Occasional Lecturer in Sociology at University College Cork, Ireland.

About the Series

The Social Pathologies of Contemporary Civilization

The Social Pathologies of Contemporary Civilization
Breaking decisively with the often ideological and moralistic approach of treating problems of health and well-being as discrete and individual problems to be addressed in isolation both from one another and their broader social contexts, this series pursues the investigation of the ways in which contemporary malaises, diseases, illnesses and psychosomatic syndromes are related to cultural pathologies of the social body and disorders of the collective ésprit de corps of contemporary society. It avoids reductive psychological and biomedical understandings of pathologies - including depression, stress-related illnesses, eating disorders, suicide and deliberate self-harm - to focus instead on the socio-cultural contexts in which they occur, examining the radical changes to social structures and institutions, and the deep crises in our civilization as a whole to which such conditions are connected. The Social Pathologies of Contemporary Civilization thus welcomes manuscripts from a broad range of disciplinary perspectives across the humanities and social sciences - sociology, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, politics, economics and cultural studies, as well as from the fields of medicine social care, therapeutic practice and the healing arts - that explore the fruitfulness locating health and well-being not simply in the individual body or soul, but within a trans-disciplinary imagination that takes into account the integral human person’s situatedness within collective social bodies, particular communities, entire societies, or even whole civilizations.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General