Man Thou Art Dust: Rites of Passage in Austere Times

Deirdre O'Loughlin, Isabelle Szmigin, Morven McEachern, Belem Barbosa, Kalipso Karantino, Eugenia Maria Fernandez-Moya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


In response to recent calls for further cross-disciplinary research on austerity (Brown and Spenser, 2014) and a deeper sociological understanding of the impact and aftermath of the economic crisis on individuals and societies (Dinerstein et al., 2014), this paper builds on extant austerity literature through an exploration of its effects on European men. Informed by theories of liminality and rites of passage (Turner, 1974; Van Gennep, 1960[1906]), this qualitative investigation examines the experience of austerity from the perspective of 11 men through the three liminal stages of separation, transition and reaggregation and investigates its impact on their identity, responsibilities and expectations. Our findings reveal the negative experiences of alienation and outsiderhood alongside positive experiences of communitas, solidarity and comradeship. The study provides a nuanced understanding of modern male Europeans and their “rites of passage” through austere times.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1050-1066
Number of pages17
Issue number5
Early online date15 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


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