Sunday, April 1, 2012

Notes on Shamanism

My dissertation proposal will be about the relationship between parent-child communication about trauma/resilience and posttraumatic resilience.

I am also interested in the relationship between traditional/cultural healing practices/medicine and posttraumatic resilience.

I should focus on the former but I will try to fit in questions about the latter in my research interviews with low-income ethnic minority urban youth and families.

To that end, I am reading, Shamanism:  The Neural Ecology of Consciousness and Healing by Michael Winkelman, a retired scholar from the Department of Anthropology, Arizona State University.

Here are some notes . . .

Shamanism:
  • is an ancient tradition
  • religious, spiritual, and healing practices and consciousness traditions
  • a primordial natural form of healing and personal development with continued relevance
  • a universal phenomenon
  • involves alterations of consciousness
  • has been denounced as fraud, trickery, delusion by modern rationality (science & atheism)
  • has reemerged in modern societies
  • involves techniques for the alteration of consciousness to support healing and personal development
The role of religion has been viewed as a source of refuge and comfort to the downtrodden.
Ritual activities are complex ethnomedical practices that provide important cultural healing resources.

Investigations of shamanistic practices reveal their ability to manipulate:
  • physiological processes
  • psychophysiological reactions
  • personal experience
  • social psychology and relations

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