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The Embodied Emotion Management of Extrasensory Practitioners: A Reflexive Approach

Roberts, Sarah, Janet, Olivia (2015) The Embodied Emotion Management of Extrasensory Practitioners: A Reflexive Approach. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

In this thesis I adopt a reflexive approach to examining the emotion management, identity work and the ethical and normative aspects of extrasensory practices. Using my own method of Systematic Emotional Embodied Reflexivity (SEER), the thesis draws upon ethnographic data (consisting of extensive involvement within esoteric/new age subcultures, participant observations at a mediumship training college and interviews with practitioners and spiritualist leaders) to provide a sociological analysis of the relational considerations which underpin extrasensory work. Key findings suggest that the ideal of authenticity guides the identity work that practitioners do; however the data indicate that authenticity is more spiritually complex than it appears. Practitioners claim their interactions are significantly embodied, based not simply on thought and feeling but also on bodily senses and cues. In sum effective emotion management for the extrasensory practitioner involves achieving distance from the self in order to successfully present Spirit to the recipient. Nevertheless, ethical considerations often provide practitioners with interactional dilemmas contradicting the detached experiences they report. Using SEER to account for my own extrasensory experiences within the field, allowed me to experience emotion management as reported by the participants and facilitated reflective analysis.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Sociology (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.665048
Depositing User: Miss Sarah, Janet, Olivia Roberts
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2015 10:42
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2018 15:20
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9652

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