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I believe ritualism would be more than just "saying" you're on a diet. According to Merton, ritualism involves adherence to norms despite lack of commitment to the culturally accepted goals associated with the behavior. This would mean doing the culturally acceptable thing (eating healthfully) even though you no longer foresee reaching your weight loss goal. You go through the motions without a real emotional commitment. Innovation might include behaviors associated with bulimia or anorexia; these are not culturally acceptable methods for weight loss, while girdles, liposuction and bariatric surgery have had some measure of acceptance in our society.
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Dec 1, 2010