Rites of Passage in French and African Cultures: An Overview

Topics: Rite of Passage, Sociology, Minority group Pages: 5 (1049 words) Published: September 12, 2015
Joyce Dolford
Child and Adolescent Psychology/PSY260
Faculty: Robert Kurklen
May 01,2015

Rites of Passage in French and African Cultures
There are various rites of passage in various cultures across the globe. Rites of passage in different cultural settings bear various similarities and differences. With respect to the African and French cultures, the rites of passage share various similar characteristic features;

 Baptism after birth is one of the key similar rite of passage that is found in the African and in the French cultures (In
Higgins, 2011).
Marriage is another rite of passage found in both the French and African cultures. Marriage is considered an important rite of passage in the two cultures due to the meaning it bears with respect to societal continuity.

Comparison with Common U.S rites of Passage
The rites of passage in the African and French cultures
share similar and different characteristic features and
aspects with those of the American culture.
The rites of passage in the American culture mainly
contains components and aspects of;
The acquisition of a license in order to be allowed to
drive an aspect that is considered essential in this culture Graduation from high school
The entry into the work market and get a good job with a
good salary

The rites of passage in the American culture has striking differences with those that are existent in the African and French cultures. The differences with respect to rites of passage in these cultures are clearly evident in the following ways;

 The American culture is different from the African and French cultures in that it pays greater attention to concepts and aspects of personal development and financial development aspects that are absent in the African and French cultures with respect to rites of passage (In Higgins, 2011).The personal development aspects in the rites of passage of the American culture include;

The completion and subsequent graduation fro high school which is essential to land into a good higher learning institution and to subsequently get to get a good job to cater for one’s financial needs (Montemayor, & Adams, 1985).

The French and the African rites of passage are different in that the concepts and aspects of religion that are highly conspicuous in the rites of passage in the two cultures are absent in the American rites of passage. With respect to the African and the French rites of passage, aspects of Christianity are clearly evident in;

The rites of passage of birth and baptism are considered
important aspects and rites of passage that are central to shaping the later behavior and conduct of individuals (Montemayor, & Adams, 1985).
Marriage as a rite of passage has its backgrounds on
Christianity and this is evident from the description of the institution of marriage from the scriptures. These aspects and features are not present in the rites of passage among the

Rite of passage and Identity Formation in Adolescents
The rites of passage are integral aspects with respect to the formation of identity in adolescents. The impact of rite of rites of passage on the formation of identity is in the following ways; In various rites of passage, there is a given behavior and conduct in individuals that is expected of individuals

(Montemayor, & Adams, 1985).
The rite of passage also reflects the acquisition of new roles and responsibilities to play and delegate in the society (In Higgins, 2011).

Erickson’s and Marcia’s Theories of Identity Formation
The two psychologists developed theories that explain the acquisition of identities by individuals in the society. The two theorists state the following with respect to acquisition of identities in the society;

According to Erickson, there is an aspect and aspect
commonly known and referred to as ego in an individual that
plays a key and an integral role in the formation of identity in an individual (In Higgins, 2011)....

References: Adams, G. R., Gullotta, T. P., & Montemayor, R. (1992). Adolescent
identity formation
In Higgins, C. (2011). Identity formation in globalizing contexts:
Language learning in the new millennium.
Montemayor, R., & Adams, G. R. (1985). Adolescent Development
within a Family Context. Journal of Early Adolescence.
Wendt, A. (1994). Collective Identity Formation and the International
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