Between the bridge and the door: exploring liminal spaces of identity formation through video diaries

Mike Zundel, David Mackay, Robert MacIntosh, Clarie Mackenzie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter explores the liminal spaces of the identity work of individuals in organizations. Following the processual outline of rites of passages by anthropologist van Gennep, the authors draw on sociologist Georg Simmel’s elaboration of the ‘bridge and the door’ as modes of transition to analyse the liminal processes of a manager of a newly formed firm. Based on video diary entries collected over a four-month period the authors illustrate how rites of transition are enacted and how these change relational patterns—bridging, opening or closing off present, past, and future possibilities. Video diaries are helpful in indicating in particular the emotive aspects of such transitions and, therefore, the often hard to study personal processes that represent liminal spaces where there is neither a new beginning nor a completed process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Identities in Organizations
EditorsAndrew D. Brown
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780198827115
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2020


  • identity
  • identity work
  • liminality
  • Simmel
  • video diaries
  • process theory

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