Manage episode 231686189 series 2502413
What is difference between drinking to a toast (say, to the bride’s health at a wedding) and drinking a Coke in McDonald’s? If you deliberately and openly do not drink to the bride’s health, you are effectively saying “I do not wish the bride a long and healthy life”. It’s possible, but extremely unlikely, that not drinking a Coke at McDonald’s would have the same effect. Drinking to a toast conveys a meaning because it is a symbolic action, or what anthropologists call “ritual”. In this episode, Nicholas Herriman (aka The Audible Anthropologist) analyses various ways of understanding ritual.
Copyright 2012 Nicholas Herriman / La Trobe University, all rights reserved. Please contact for permissions.