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The Odyssey Experience – Physical, Social, Psychological, and Spiritual Journeys - California Scholarship Online
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The Odyssey Experience: Physical, Social, Psychological, and Spiritual Journeys

Neil Smelser


This book traces the phenomenon of the “odyssey” experience as it shapes, informs, and defines our lives. Drawing on a range of examples, the book focuses on how such experiences enhance our lives and provide us with meaning and dignity. The odyssey experience, as the text advances it, is generic, widespread, and recurring. It is a finite period of disengagement from the routines of life and immersion into a simpler, transitory, often collective, usually intense period of involvement that culminates in some kind of regeneration. By examining a variety of topics as part of a larger, overarching ... More

Keywords: odyssey experience, meaning, dignity, disengagement, routines of life, regeneration, immersion, intense period, transformations, daily life

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780520258976
Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520258976.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Neil Smelser, author