A feminist anthropological study on women's mediumship in Florida

Porch-Lee, Sarah (2023) A feminist anthropological study on women's mediumship in Florida. Masters thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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Porch-Lee, Sarah (2023) MRes A Feminist Anthropological Study on Women's Mediumship in Florida.pdf - Accepted Version
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Abstract

Throughout history women have faced (and continue to face) marginalization in religious settings, exhibited through such power plays as control over their bodies (rules for dress and behavior in church and home) and prohibitions from formal leadership positions. It is now the role of feminist scholars to undertake research into religious movements and activities to consider how religious marginalization affects practitioners. Historically, American mediumship (through the religion of Spiritualism) provided an outlet for women to take autonomy of their religious goals and step into leadership positions as mediums. Through an anthropological lens (and in conjunction with the burgeoning field of paranthropology), this research approaches the experience of mediumship through a feminist analysis of the practice of mediumship as it exists today. This study further explores how women’s mediumship experience differs from men’s mediumship, and explains how location in Florida is beneficial to many mediums. Surveys and interviews were conducted with mediums who are either currently practicing in or had previously practiced in Florida. These methods embrace an empathetic approach which is especially helpful in feminist research, and provide a safe, positive environment for research. This study reveals that mediumship is an activity in which practitioners retain their overall autonomy while practicing. Ultimately, this research concludes that mediums in Florida enjoy good reputations, and while mediumship institutions may skew towards male leadership, women mediums experience a level of spiritual autonomy within their practice that has yet to be discovered in wider religious circles.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: anthropology, religion, religious experience, feminism, feminist anthropology, mediumship, mediums, women's experience, women's religious experience, US religion, Florida, Florida religion, Florida anthropology, Florida feminism, paranthropology, paranormal anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: Sarah Porch-Lee
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2023 09:33
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2023 09:33
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/2408

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