Getting healed from a globalised age : a study of the New Age Movement in Taiwan
Chen, Shu-Chuan (2006) Getting healed from a globalised age : a study of the New Age Movement in Taiwan. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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The aim of this qualitative study of the New Age Movement (NAM) in Taiwan was to test the ideas about 'self-religion', 'reflexive modernisation' and 'globalisation' that underlie many sociological accounts of the New Age phenomena. It also explored the neglected issues of emotions and embodiment in New Age practices. By means of in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 40 participants in New Age activities, participant observation in two New Age courses about healing and documentary analysis, my project produced the following four conclusions.
First, the characteristics of New Age spiritualities in Taiwan, such as 'spiritual but not religious' and 'transformational but not salvational', differ from those of the country's main religions and new religious groups. But many people in the NAM seek a new balance between 'tradition and modernity' or 'new age spiritualities and "old age" religions'. Second, changes in emotional states are critical for participants in New Age activities in terms of 'being healed' through a process of self-transformation. Participants experience emotional identification, display and experience, whilst also internalising a set of feeling rules based on the 'emotion ideology' of New Age spiritualities.
Third, analysis of interviewees' biographical reconstructions of their experiences shows that the New Age can be regarded as an integral part of late modern society in Taiwan. Not only is the NAM mainly about self-reflexivity but it also influences the life politics of its followers. It can therefore serve as a source of 'alternative' expert knowledge in late-modern society.
Fourth, the structure of the NAM in Taiwan can be described as a loose, web-like network. Furthermore, the globalised aspects of the movement cannot be regarded simply as an expression of 'Westernisation' or 'Americanisation', but should be properly understood as a process of 'parallel glocalization'.
This thesis is an original combination of conceptual analysis, theoretical ideas and empirical investigation. Its main contributions are, on the one hand, to have integrated the New Age in Taiwan into theorising about late-modernity and globalisation and, on the other, to have placed emotions and healing at the center of the study of New Age activities.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||New Age movement -- Taiwan|
|Official Date:||September 2006|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of Sociology|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Beckford, James A.|
|Sponsors:||Chian Ching-kuo Foundation|
|Extent:||ix, 318 leaves|
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