Different work settings in a governmental organization are socially defined as symbolic domains. Each domain represents distinct ways of framing and inter preting talk and action. Members of the organization must be able to keep all symbolic domains in mind and switch back and forth between them, as they cross different work settings. The paper claims that rites of transition facilitate switches between symbolic domains directing the entry to and the exit from symbolic domains. The social definitions of symbolic domains and the transitions between them are analyzed on the basis of a study of the interaction between a group of managers and the political minister.