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Sociological interest in the paranormal experiences - Essay Example

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It is difficult for even the greatest sociologists to decide whether a particular situation or experience can be segregated to a branch of any one of the sub fields that examine different dimensions of society. In other words there is bound to be an overlap of sub fields related to a particular kind of experiences…
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Sociological interest in the paranormal experiences
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Download file to see previous pages I find very little co relation between paranormal /anomalous experiences and the sociology of knowledge because it believes in rationalization of what is being experienced. It is very difficult to point out the theory behind all things related to the paranormal / anomalous.
If we try to understand what is really meant by paranormal experiences, one thing that immediately comes to our mind is that it instills a feeling of global oneness. We just cannot say that only those who are educated have had paranormal or anomalous experiences. Neither can we conclude that people following a particular religion have experienced it. Such experiences are common across different cultural communities too.
Paranormal or anomalous experiences are those that leave a lasting impression on people who have gone through it but there are not enough evidence or logical explanation to prove their authenticity. Some of the phenomenon that can be categorized paranormal or anomalous are experiences of ghosts, UFO, other supernatural powers, spirituality, folie a deux condition, dj vu condition, parapsychology, occult, pseudoscience, protoscience, abduction phenomenon, extra sensory perception, spontaneous human combustion, out of body feelings, near to death experiences etc. Apart from all these there are other phenomenon like astrology, numerology, phrenology, psychometry, psychic surgery, physiognomy, chiropractic, homeopathy, precognition, remote viewing, faith healing, channeling etc.
Very few of the above-mentioned phenomena can be explained in a scientific way. Yet they are more interesting and draw much more sociological interest than those phenomena, which can be proved scientifically. The reason for this is that humans tend to get bored with the tried and tested instances. Dolon rightly states in Coutts that " I want people to know that there is more to life than what we call reality, more than what we can see - and it is not as far beyond our reach as we imagine. It is ordinary, everyday, here and now, in this minute. And it is magical, a gift." (2003 p. 291) There is a constant urge in all of us to discover the thrill of coming across the unusual. This common interest binds people together and make them a part of the group. People from different dimensions become a part of the sociological structure. Their common interest is termed as sociological interest.
Chapter 1
Paranormal and the Sociology of Religion
The sociology of religion has been an integral part of sociology since the very beginning. Davie in Taylor has very beautifully tried to bring out the link between religion and society. In his words "there are two ways of defining religion in terms of its relationship to society. The first is substantive: it is concerned with what religion is. Religion involves beliefs and practices, which assume the existence of supernatural beings. The second approach is functional: it is concerned with what religion does and how it affects the society of which it is part For example, religion offers answers to otherwise unanswerable questions (what happens when we die), or ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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