This book offers a ground-breaking, discourse-based framework of rituals, which draws on multiple research disciplines. By examining data from different languages and cultures, it explores the way in which groups of people work out their interpersonal relationships by performing rituals, and compares such in-group ritual practices with other forms of rituality. The cutting-edge theory proposed captures ritual as a relational action constructed in interaction through pre-existing patterns, and it overviews ritual from various perspectives such as history, culture and cognition. Stereotypically, English and other Western languages are thought of as languages which have dispensed with rituals, as ritual is popularly defined as a solemn, and often religious, act. The present book challenges this concept: it shows that ritual is more present in our daily lives than we would normally think, and that it manifests itself in both constructive and destructive forms of behaviour.