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Rites of Passage towards Adulthood and Global Citizenship: Transitions and Liminalities

Updated: Sep 4, 2018

Pierluca Birindelli

Archeology students from Umbra Institute


Studying abroad is a growing and institutionalized practice that seems to constitute a liminal and transitional space-time: a rite of passage towards adulthood and global citizenship. However, the apparently uncontested global meaning of such double transitional passage is questioned by local and national cultures. The analysis of autobiographical essays written by a group of young Italian and American students highlights the significance given to the passage toward adulthood: the “limen” between youth and adulthood is drawn in a different vein and accompanied by different rituals. Becoming an adult and a citizen of the world follows different cultural paths, thus giving shape to heterogeneous identities under a homogenous global semantic umbrella.

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