François Gauthier

Consumed. How Rave is Religion


By putting forth an essentially religiological outlook on the rave phenomenon in westernized societies, this article attempts to show how rave can be understood in religious terms. More specifically, it will be argued that it is in fact the religious mechanisms at work in rave that have made it to become the most burgeoning and rapturous youth culture phenomenon of the last two decades. The demonstration takes on a concentric approach, starting off by looking at the various explicitly religious symbols and discourses abounding in these sub-cultures before reaching towards their efficient core, the rave experience itself, through the rituality involved in these events and their festive peak. Rave will thus appear as a “ religious festive ritual ” in which can also be distinguished a truly sacrificial “ consumption logic ” (as opposed to a profane “ logic of consumerism ”).