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The Haunted Self: Intersubjectivity and Collective Memory in First-Hand Eyewitness Accounts of Paranormal Experiences
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The study of supernatural beliefs has been a major field in anthropology throughout its history. The study of paranormal experiences as such, however, has been largely left for folklorists to handle. This paper is an attempt to study the genesis, structure and interpretative schemes of narratives of paranormal experiences, specifically ghosts and hauntings, so that through the figure of the ghost (our perception of it, the ways in which we interact with it, how we read it and then talk about it) core experiences that turn non-believers into believers and believers into collectivities can become visible. Because experience is, for those who are said to have had paranormal encounters, what turns beliefs (or disbelief) into certainties, I have focused on theories that set experience and individual constructions of reality at the center of the actor-structure relation. My main purpose is to explore people’s narratives of alleged paranormal occurrences as they develop from individual experiences to cultural systems of legitimized meanings, in order to understand the processes that dynamically link micro and macro levels. I contend that a deeper understanding of all elements involved in the production of the personal-collective will further the development of better analytical tools to study the broad spectrum of cultural matter that escapes formal inquiry due to an old-yet-still-predominant divide between the objective and subjective, concrete and abstract, material and immaterial, public and private -dichotomies that lie at the very core of social and cultural theory. Through compelling analyses of ethnographic accounts on ghosts and the haunted I seek to reformulate the premises on which we understand this dilemma.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 36 p.
Keyword [en]
ghosts, paranormal, supernatural, spirits, symbolic, collective memory, intersubjective, Adelaida Caballero
Keyword [sv]
spöke, paranormal, övernaturlig, andar, kollektivt minne, intersubjektivitet, Adelaida Caballero
Keyword [es]
fantasmas, paranormal, supernatural, espíritus, memoria colectiva, intersubjetividad, Adelaida Caballero
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-175548OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-175548DiVA: diva2:532029
Subject / course
Cultural Anthropology
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-06-25 Created: 2012-06-08 Last updated: 2013-05-28Bibliographically approved

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