Rupture and Rhythm: A Phenomenology of National Experiences

Kristin Surak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article investigates how people make sense of ruptures in the flow of everyday life as they enter new experiential domains. Shifts in being-in-time create breaks in the natural attitude that offer the opportunity to register national—or, for example, religious, gender, or class—experiences. People interpret ruptures in perception and proprioception by drawing connections with domains in which similar or contrasting kinds of disruption are evident. Normalizing the transition, rhythm—as both cadence and overall flow—helps people adjust to new circumstances, align action, and smooth subsequent ruptures. Based on extensive qualitative fieldwork, I examine the specific case of how novice and experienced tea ceremony practitioners in Japan move into, interpret, and normalize action within tea spaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-333
Number of pages22
JournalSociological Theory
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • embodiment
  • experience
  • nationalism
  • phenomenology
  • rhythm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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