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Interactional dynamics and the production of collective experience: the case of paranormal research groups

Ironside, Rachael (2016) Interactional dynamics and the production of collective experience: the case of paranormal research groups. PhD thesis, University of York.

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This research examines how paranormal experiences are shared and understood collectively. The study focuses on the multimodal practices produced during a paranormal event, and observes the interactive resources drawn upon by individuals to manage, disclose and share extraordinary experiences. Drawing upon a methodological approach informed by conversation analysis, this research uses video data to observe and analyse multimodal practices. The video data presents paranormal experiences as they happen, in the moment, and was collected by the researcher prior to research-led interests. Due to the researcher’s presence as a reflective participant in the analysis of data, this study also draws upon ethnographic reflections to compliment the analytical process. The findings from this study reveal that collective paranormal experiences are noticed, their features established, and their status as paranormal determined, by organised social practices. Despite the ontological and psychological factors that may contribute to an experience, paranormal events are noticed, talked about and displayed in the presence of others. Through these practices individuals construct turns that engender certain qualities towards an event, are sensitive to the epistemic status of themselves and co-participants, and through their construction inform the future trajectory of interaction. Thus, this study argues that the experience of an individual in the context of a collective paranormal event is one that can be seen as socially constructed. Overall, this study contributes to a developing body of research that examines paranormal experiences from a sociological perspective. However, through these findings this analysis also contributes more broadly to research concerning demonstrative practice, talk and epistemics, and embodied practice.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Sociology (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.686549
Depositing User: Mrs Rachael Ironside
Date Deposited: 24 May 2016 09:45
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 13:34
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/13209

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