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In this work on Brazilian social rituals, Roberto DaMatta focuses on the trajectories of three types of public ritual (carnival, Independence Day and other military parades, and local-level religious processions) as principal axes in defining the values and attitudes that shape urban Brazil. At this level, he seeks to contribute to theories of dramatisation and ideology, by examining the styles, forms and actors of these three sets of rituals. Emphasis is upon three particular ways that ritual manipulates and transforms elements and relationships: reinforcement, inversion and neutralisation. This theoretical approach should be of interest to philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists and students of comparative religion.