Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit Invited Speaker Series 2017/18
Following a ten-year intergenerational study, my research is currently focused on practices of ancestor veneration in late modern, Euro American societies. Such practices are connected strongly to experiences of sensing the presence of deceased relatives. A striking component of participants’ narratives is the sensuous aspect: their experiences are not only emotionally or psychologically ‘felt’, but are embodied and physically sensed. Many become routinized as part of everyday mundanity. As with other studies on ‘ancestor worship’ in pre-literate societies, I suggest these experiences function not only to comfort bereaving relatives but to preserve existing social norms and structures.
Abby Day is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London, where her teaching, research, writing and supervisions cover sociology of religion, culture and society, media and religion, and critical criminology. Past Chair of the Sociology of Religion Study group in the British Sociological Association, her work focuses on improving the academic and public understanding of complex religious and non-religious identities, gender and generational change.
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