Graduate Liberal Studies Program

Course Description

GLS 592: Immigrants: The Anthropology of People at the Margins of Society

Instructor: Dr. Barbara Michaels

Immigrants, expatriates, and exiles are all at the margins, or what Victor Turner calls the “periphery,” of society by choice or circumstances.  They may also be assimilated or acculturated to the dominant culture or to what Victor Turner calls the “center.” Analytically, the process fits Van Gennep’s stages of a rite of passage:  separation; transition or limnality; and incorporation. Or they may be permanently alienated and marginalized.   In either case there is an interaction between the people at the “margins,” and those at the “center.”  This course will investigate the interactions and transactions between the periphery and the center as well as the processes of limnality and incorporation in which both periphery and center are transformed.  Aspects of the transformation to be investigated include cultural, linguistic, economic, political and religious.  Course materials will include readings and films.

Updated: October 12, 2018