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The Language of Mediums and Psychics The Social Organization of Everyday Miracles

The Language of Mediums and Psychics The Social Organization of Everyday Miracles
The Language of Mediums and Psychics: The Social Organization of Everyday Miracles By Robin Wooffitt
2006 | 221 Pages | ISBN: 075464202X | PDF | 17 MB

Every week in Europe and the USA thousands of people consult psychic practitioners: men and women who claim to communicate with the dead; or to have paranormal means of cognition; or the ability to discern past and future events from the arrangement of tarot cards, and so on. What is common in all these encounters is language. Psychic practitioners use language to demonstrate their powers, whether they are reporting the words of their spirit contacts or interpreting the spread of tarot cards. Their clients accept or reject this information also through talk. Thus everyday ways of speaking are crucial to the performance of psychic powers in such sittings. This book presents the first sustained study of the verbal interaction between the various kinds of psychic practitioners and their clients. Using conversation analysis Robin Wooffitt examines the structure of the interaction, focusing on the ways in which psychic practitioners establish the genuineness of their claimed paranormal powers. The book adopts a neutral standpoint in terms of the status of the claims of psychic practitioners, raising important issues about the use of the social sciences to understand not only the activities of psychic practitioners, but other kinds of paranormal phenomena. This highly original study will appeal to students and scholars of discourse studies, and to sociologists interested in conversation analysis. It has been written in a style accessible to non-specialists and will also appeal to social scientists interested in the ways in which we might study psychic phenomena and the paranormal.


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