Ceremonies and Models

Monk, John (2003). Ceremonies and Models. In: Gullstrom-Hughes, Rolf and Monk, John eds. The Book of models: ceremonies, metaphor, performance., Volume 2nd ed. Milton Keynes, UK and Stockholm, Sweden: Department of Telematics/Metamorphosis - Centre for Writing and Performance Research, pp. 33–46.


A model is an artefact used by a group of specialists that inspires a conversation composed of specialised linguistic practices. From their use of their model, specialists will claim to make new, reliable predictions or explanations about some other artefact. While those outside the specialism may be at sea with the explanations, those inside the specialism identify themselves by showing satisfaction. Members of the group use the models because they find the ensuing discussions satisfying. The use of specialist language, by an identifiable group which imputes to objects the group's own special meanings and whose members engage in activities that give them satisfaction turns their activity, the use of the model, into a ceremony.

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