Digital Ritual: Encounters, co-presence and security

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Collins’ and Goffman’s interaction ritual theory explores how identity, inclusion and solidarity are negotiated through ritual encounters. Within their work co-presence is an important ingredient of encounters that are embodied and nuanced through direct, physical interaction. Where there is some recognition of the possibilities of mediated ritual (i.e. sport watched on television) Collins is explicitly, and perhaps presciently, cautious about the risks of mediated encounters, indicating the potential for social control through them. In an increasingly digital world this is important, not least in the context of policing and security. An emergent literature does, however, suggest that there are possibilities for encounters to be experienced online, through social media, or within interactive virtual worlds rich in symbolic representation. This paper begins the task of exploring the possibilities and the risks that digital ritual poses for social wellbeing, security and solidarity in a mediated world.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - Sep 2019
EventEuropean Society of Criminology: 19th Annual Conference - Ghent, Belgium
Duration: 18 Sep 201921 Sep 2019


ConferenceEuropean Society of Criminology


  • interaction ritual
  • encounters
  • co-presence
  • digital ritual
  • emotion
  • solidarity

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