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date: 19 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the liminal spaces of the identity work of individuals in organizations. Following the processual outline of rites of passages by anthropologist van Gennep, the authors draw on sociologist Georg Simmel’s elaboration of the ‘bridge and the door’ as modes of transition to analyse the liminal processes of a manager of a newly formed firm. Based on video diary entries collected over a four-month period the authors illustrate how rites of transition are enacted and how these change relational patterns—bridging, opening or closing off present, past, and future possibilities. Video diaries are helpful in indicating in particular the emotive aspects of such transitions and, therefore, the often hard to study personal processes that represent liminal spaces where there is neither a new beginning nor a completed process.

Keywords: identity, identity work, liminality, video diaries, Simmel, process theory

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