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Carnival and the suspension of 'norms'

Mikhail Bakhtin's famous "Carnival and Carnivalesque"
 (in: Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A Reader) deals with the event of the
carnival, common throughout European history as a central form of celebration.

Bakhtin's opens "Carnival and Carnivalesque" by noting that the carnival is not a
performance, and does not differentiate the spectator from the performer.

All people who take part in the carnival "live it" but it is not an extension of the
"real world" or "real life" but rather, as Bakhtin puts it, "the world standing on its head",
the world upside down. The carnival for Bakhtin is an event in which all rules,
inhibitions, restrictions and regulations which determine the course of everyday life
are suspended, and especially all form of hierarchy in society.

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