chapter  7
10 Pages

Family Rituals and Traditions

Family theorists and therapists have borrowed the concept of rituals from anthropologists as a way of understanding the culture of families. As Hartman and Laird (1983) have stated, “if rituals stand at the very core of culture, since families develop their own cultures and are among the most central of transmitters of larger cultural processes, it may be that rituals also stand at the very core of family life” (p.106). While there has been considerable delibera­ tion about the exact definition of ritual (Hartman and Laird, 1983; Roberts, 1988), for purposes of this discussion I will use the term to denote those behaviors which are prescribed, ordered, repeated, and have symbolic meaning.