Liminal performativity: Modern-day festivals and embodied practice

Lucas, Mike and Wright, Alex (2013). Liminal performativity: Modern-day festivals and embodied practice. In: European Group for Organization Studies Colloquium (EGOS 2013), 5-7 Jul 2013, Montréal, Canada.


How does liminal performativity emerge? This paper draws from ethnographic field data of a modern-day festival in rural Sweden to examine performativity in a liminal space. We illustrate how practice arranged around the accomplishment of a festival is performative, and how the physical location of a small village in rural Sweden constitutes a liminal context. This example allows us to theorise liminal performativity, which we see as organizing that is, in part, constituted by and through the spaces within which it occurs. We focus on liminal spaces because we see such locations as sites betwixt and between (Turner, 1969) formal organization, and by studying such constitutive phenomena we develop our knowledge of informal organization and organizing that frequently occurs at physical margins or in formal spaces that are made marginal. Modern-day festivals provide interesting and revealing sites for investigating performative practices, as in such contexts it is often an overarching idea, rather than a specific theory, that stimulates and guides activity. We speculate that ideas in organizations are much more performative than previously considered and should be considered alongside theories, models and concepts as performative phenomena.

Viewing alternatives

Download history

Item Actions