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Title: The embodied emotion management of extrasensory practitioners : a reflexive approach
Author: Roberts, Sarah Janet Olivia
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 3754
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2015
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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.
Supervisor: Toerien, Merran ; Jackson, Stevi Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available