Sociology: Book Series

Contemporary Liminality

Contemporary Liminality

Series Editor:

This series constitutes a forum for works that make use of concepts such as ‘imitation’, ‘trickster’ or ‘schismogenesis’, but which chiefly deploy the notion of ‘liminality’, as the basis of a new, anthropologically-focused paradigm in social theory. With its versatility and range of possible uses rivalling and even going beyond mainstream concepts such as ‘system’ ‘structure’ or ‘institution’, liminality is increasingly considered a new master concept that promises to spark a renewal in social thought.

In spite of the fact that charges of Eurocentrism or even ‘moderno-centrism’ are widely discussed in sociology and anthropology, it remains the case that most theoretical tools in the social sciences continue to rely on taken-for-granted approaches developed from within the modern Western intellectual tradition, whilst concepts developed on the basis of extensive anthropological evidence and which challenged commonplaces of modernist thinking, have been either marginalised and ignored, or trivialised. By challenging the assumed neo-Kantian and neo-Hegelian foundations of modern social theory, and by helping to shed new light on the fundamental ideas of major figures in social theory, such as Nietzsche, Dilthey, Weber, Elias, Voegelin, Foucault and Koselleck, whilst also establishing connections between the perspectives gained through modern social and cultural anthropology and the central concerns of classical philosophical anthropology Contemporary Liminality offers a new direction in social thought.


Arpad Szakolczai is Professor of Sociology at University College Cork, Ireland. He is the author of Max Weber and Michel Foucault: Parallel Life-Works, Reflexive Historical Sociology, The Genesis of Modernity, Sociology, Religion and Grace: A Quest for the Renaissance, and Comedy and the Public Sphere: The Re-birth of Theatre as Comedy and the Genealogy of the Modern Public Arena, and co-author of The Dissolution of Communist Power: The Case of Hungary.

  • The Rise of Consumer Capitalism in America, 1880 - 1930

    1st Edition

    By Cesare Silla

    This book offers a genealogical account of the rise of consumer capitalism, tracing its origins in America between 1880 and 1930 and explaining how it emerged to become the dominant form of social organization of our time. Asking how it was that we came to be consumers who live in societies that…

    Paperback – 2019-12-23 
    Routledge
    Contemporary Liminality

  • China at a Threshold

    Exploring Social Change in Techno-Social Systems, 1st Edition

    By James B. Cuffe

    Once the world’s most technologically advanced civilisation, China is poised to yet again take this mantle having made incredible technological strides over recent decades but what does this in fact mean? What will this mean for Chinese society and what ramifications might it have for the future?…

    Hardback – 2019-12-20 
    Routledge
    Contemporary Liminality

  • The Political Sociology and Anthropology of Evil: Tricksterology

    1st Edition

    By Agnes Horvath, Arpad Szakolczai

    This book offers a new approach to the problem of evil through an examination of the anthropological figure of the ‘trickster’. A lesser known and much more recent term than evil, the authors use the trickster to facilitate a greater understanding of the return of evil in the modern era. Instead of…

    Hardback – 2019-10-15
    Routledge
    Contemporary Liminality

  • Home: The Foundations of Belonging

    1st Edition

    By Paul O'Connor

    Questions of home and belonging have never been more topical. Populist politicians in both Europe and America play on anxieties over globalisation by promising to reconstitute the national home, through cutting immigration and ‘taking back control’. Increasing numbers of young people are unable to…

    Paperback – 2019-04-15
    Routledge
    Contemporary Liminality

  • Permanent Liminality and Modernity

    Analysing the Sacrificial Carnival through Novels, 1st Edition

    By Arpad Szakolczai

    This book offers a comprehensive sociological study of the nature and dynamics of the modern world, through the use of a series of anthropological concepts, including the trickster, schismogenesis, imitation and liminality. Developing the view that with the theatre playing a central role, the…

    Paperback – 2019-01-03
    Routledge
    Contemporary Liminality

  • Divinization and Technology

    The Political Anthropology of Subversion, 1st Edition

    Edited by Agnes Horvath, Camil Francisc Roman, Gilbert Germain

    This book offers a political anthropological discussion of subversion, exploring its imbrication with technological and divinization practices, and uncovering some of its particular effects on human existence, from prehistory until the contemporary age. Subversion is often romanticized as a means…

    Hardback – 2018-12-13
    Routledge
    Contemporary Liminality

  • Power, Legitimacy and the Public Sphere

    The Iranian Ta’ziyeh Theatre Ritual, 1st Edition

    By Amin Sharifi Isaloo

    A ground-breaking study of political transformations in non-Western societies, this book applies anthropological, sociological and political concepts to the recent history of Iran to explore the role played by a ritual theatrical performance (Ta’ziyeh) and its symbols on the construction of public…

    Paperback – 2018-10-26
    Routledge
    Contemporary Liminality

  • The Spectacle of Critique

    From Philosophy to Cacophony, 1st Edition

    By Tom Boland

    Far from being the preserve of a few elite thinkers, critique increasingly dominates public life in modernity, leading to a cacophony of accusation and denunciation around all political issues. The technique of unmasking ‘power’ or ‘hegemony’ or ‘ideology’ has now been adopted across the political…

    Hardback – 2018-08-01
    Routledge
    Contemporary Liminality

  • Walling, Boundaries and Liminality

    A Political Anthropology of Transformations, 1st Edition

    Edited by Agnes Horvath, Marius Ion Benţa, Joan Davison

    Contemporary challenges related to walls, borders and encirclement, such as migration, integration and endemic historical conflicts, can only be understood properly from a long-term perspective. This book seeks to go beyond conventional definitions of the long durée by locating the social practice…

    Hardback – 2018-07-30
    Routledge
    Contemporary Liminality

  • Politics with a Human Face

    Identity and Experience in Post-Soviet Europe, 1st Edition

    By Arvydas Grišinas

    Politics with a Human Face presents a holistic understanding of identity formation in post-Soviet Europe, arguing that since politics is fundamentally a human affair. In order to adequately understand it, one needs to understand its human side first. Drawing on the thought of Dilthey, Ricoeur and…

    Hardback – 2018-03-29
    Routledge
    Contemporary Liminality

  • Walking into the Void

    A Historical Sociology and Political Anthropology of Walking, 1st Edition

    By Arpad Szakolczai, Agnes Horvath

    The book starts by discussing the significance of walking for the experience of being human, including a comparative study of the language and cultures of walking. It then reviews in detail, relying on archaeology, two turning points of human history: the emergence of cave art sanctuaries and a new…

    Paperback – 2017-10-17
    Routledge
    Contemporary Liminality