Ritual

According to classic sociologist Emile Durkheim,

There can be no society which does not feel the need of upholding and reaffirming at regular intervals the collective sentiments and the collective ideas which make its unity and its personality. Now this moral remaking cannot be achieved except by the means of reunions, assemblies and meetings where the individuals, being closely united to one another, reaffirm in common their common sentiments.

In other words, the Royal Wedding is one example of a ritual – a highly routinized act – that unites us. It’s obviously much more important for British citizens, but the rest of us can participate to some extent, though I doubt the ritual is quite as symbolic to us as it is to Brits. On a smaller scale, something like a football game has the same uniting and reaffirming effect.

Basically, it’s good for society. That’s why you should care about the Royal Wedding. (Also, it was really touching to see the new Princess Catherine crying happily when they got into the carriage.)

And there’s your sociological insight for the day.

(Quote taken from The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, 1912.)