2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/2436/609883
Title:
Fieldwork
Authors:
Gregg, Stephen
Abstract:
It has been previously noted that the post 1970s Study of New Religions entails an interdisciplinary methodological approach which has been “created primarily on the basis of the cumulation of fieldwork research projects” (Bromley, 2007, 67) In the introduction to this volume, the editors have skilfully charted the development of this distinct discipline with regard to wider Study of Religion and the Sociology of Religion and in this short chapter I wish to address the multi-methodological heritage of fieldwork research to explore its centrality to the study of New Religions. It should be noted at the outset, however that NRMs present a particularly challenging focus of study for fieldwork – often due to political or ethical issues that will be addressed below – but also simply for the fact that this relatively newly emergent academic discipline borrows from a diversity of methodologies which at the same time both enriches and “complicates the task of assembling a coherent corpus of knowledge” (Bromley, 2007, 66) Perhaps unsurprisingly, therefore, the history of NRM scholarship is a history of diverse fieldwork methodologies complicated by both the evolving nature of the discipline within the Academy and also influenced by perceptions and understandings of NRMs within wider society. Central to many of these research projects, however, is the concept of verstehen (Barker, 1984, 20), the Weberian terminology for understanding a belief or action within the social context relevant to the worldview of the individual or community in question. This has often been a challenging issue for NRM scholars due to the huge diversity of traditions bracketed within NRM studies, and also due to the sometimes counter-cultural or controversial nature of the customs and beliefs of the groups which are studied but, as Whitehead (1987) has argued, detailed fieldwork is particularly central to the study of NRMs as “if unfamiliar cultural systems are not substantially portrayed, they are easily reduced to silly stereotypes.” (Whitehead, 1987, 10)
Citation:
In: George D. Chryssides and Benjamin E. Zeller (Eds), The Bloomsbury Companion to New Religious Movements, Part 2, Chapter 1, pp25-28
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Publishing
Issue Date:
2-Jan-2014
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/2436/609883
Additional Links:
http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-bloomsbury-companion-to-new-religious-movements-9781441190055/
Type:
Book chapter
Language:
en
ISBN:
9781441190055
Appears in Collections:
FOSS

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorGregg, Stephenen
dc.date.accessioned2016-05-19T15:27:28Zen
dc.date.available2016-05-19T15:27:28Zen
dc.date.issued2014-01-02en
dc.identifier.citationIn: George D. Chryssides and Benjamin E. Zeller (Eds), The Bloomsbury Companion to New Religious Movements, Part 2, Chapter 1, pp25-28en
dc.identifier.isbn9781441190055en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/2436/609883en
dc.description.abstractIt has been previously noted that the post 1970s Study of New Religions entails an interdisciplinary methodological approach which has been “created primarily on the basis of the cumulation of fieldwork research projects” (Bromley, 2007, 67) In the introduction to this volume, the editors have skilfully charted the development of this distinct discipline with regard to wider Study of Religion and the Sociology of Religion and in this short chapter I wish to address the multi-methodological heritage of fieldwork research to explore its centrality to the study of New Religions. It should be noted at the outset, however that NRMs present a particularly challenging focus of study for fieldwork – often due to political or ethical issues that will be addressed below – but also simply for the fact that this relatively newly emergent academic discipline borrows from a diversity of methodologies which at the same time both enriches and “complicates the task of assembling a coherent corpus of knowledge” (Bromley, 2007, 66) Perhaps unsurprisingly, therefore, the history of NRM scholarship is a history of diverse fieldwork methodologies complicated by both the evolving nature of the discipline within the Academy and also influenced by perceptions and understandings of NRMs within wider society. Central to many of these research projects, however, is the concept of verstehen (Barker, 1984, 20), the Weberian terminology for understanding a belief or action within the social context relevant to the worldview of the individual or community in question. This has often been a challenging issue for NRM scholars due to the huge diversity of traditions bracketed within NRM studies, and also due to the sometimes counter-cultural or controversial nature of the customs and beliefs of the groups which are studied but, as Whitehead (1987) has argued, detailed fieldwork is particularly central to the study of NRMs as “if unfamiliar cultural systems are not substantially portrayed, they are easily reduced to silly stereotypes.” (Whitehead, 1987, 10)en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherBloomsbury Publishingen
dc.relation.urlhttp://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-bloomsbury-companion-to-new-religious-movements-9781441190055/en
dc.subjectFieldworken
dc.subjectNew Religious Movementen
dc.subjectEthnographyen
dc.subjectVerstehenen
dc.titleFieldworken
dc.typeBook chapteren
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