It is illuminating to consider ritual as a restricted code. But more problems arise in applying this insight than I am ready to handle. Bernstein argues that the restricted code has many forms; any structured group that is a group to the extent that its members know one another very well, for example in cricket, science or local government, will develop its special form of restricted code which shortens the process of communication by condensing units into pre-arranged coded forms. The code enables a given pattern of values to be enforced and allows members to internalise the structure of the group and its norms in the very process of interaction. Much of the writings and conference proceedings of anthropologists, or of every ...

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