This is topic Searching For An Academic Essay...(Help, Please?) in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by SteveRogers (Member # 7130) on :
Can anyone suggest a good scholarly essay that discusses the human obsession with the insane, the strange, and the shocking?

I'm trying to find something like this for the sake of research for a literature analysis group in my English class. My teacher suggested a find an essay like this, but she did not suggest a specific example.

I was wondering if the good people of Hatrack were familiar with any such essay that I could refer to as my group prepares its presentation.

I'm not copying it for a grade. It's purely for research. And it will be properly cited.

I don't want to buy an essay which is all I can get to come up on Google. I just want to read something regarding the topic.

Can anyone help, please?
Posted by Jhai (Member # 5633) on :
Do you have access to the "standard" databases, like JSTOR?
Posted by SteveRogers (Member # 7130) on :
Since I don't know what that stands for probably not. I have internet access.

And I'm going to be going to a Barnes & Noble more than likely tomorrow. But I won't be able to check this during the day tomorrow, so I would need to know tonight if I'd need to buy something.
Posted by ketchupqueen (Member # 6877) on :
If you use your school library they may have a subscription to the services that let you access all those pay-for-access journals. Or, for that matter, sometimes even the public library can help you access them, or sometimes they have access to hard copies of the same.
Posted by SteveRogers (Member # 7130) on :
That's what I was worried about. She didn't really say anything about it until today. And I'm going to need to find something by Monday. It's not necessary. But it would make the presentation way easier.

Thanks for the tips though, everybody. I'll just try to make sure I'm more on the ball next time around.
Posted by Jhai (Member # 5633) on :
I found an article on jstor from the sociological quarterly called Social Meaning of the Occult.

Here's the abstract:
Data from a participant-observational study of the tarot are used to explore the social meanings of modern occultism and to examine certain rival contentions about these beliefs, practices, adherents, and the manner in which activities are or are not organized socially. Unlike collective behavioral audiences, which employ occultisms as a form of popular entertainment, the occult practitioners reported here participate in an "esoteric community" involving practitioner-client relations, social networks, and small cult-like groups. Although the occult tarot constitutes an elaborate theosophy, contemporary adherents selectively subscribe to these doctrines and they freely mix the occult, other esoteric teachings, and elements of traditional culture. When the tarot is used in a divinatory fashion as a service to the general public for pay, problems of legitimacy commonly arise. Occultists in the community deal with this problem by presenting themselves as "professionals." Within the nominally pluralistic climate of American society, occultisms thereby become another path to dealing meaningfully with life's problems and expressing individual identity. Organized in terms of loose collections of practitioners and groups and supported by the larger cultic milieu, occult communities represent an adaptation to modern society which is likely to persist long after particular groups fail or particular individuals move on to other social scenes.

I can email it to you, if you want.
Posted by SteveRogers (Member # 7130) on :
That certainly could help. Thanks. You'll have to just copy and paste it if at all possible. I don't have Word, so I wouldn't be able to open an attachment.

My e-mail address is: caveman89376 at hotmail dot com.

You have no idea how much I appreciate this!

[ May 09, 2008, 11:20 PM: Message edited by: SteveRogers ]
Posted by Nato (Member # 1448) on :
If you need specific examples of something, you could narrow your search.. obsession with the occult, maybe UFO religions (Wojcik's summary in The End of the World as we Know It or in a book titled UFO Religions ed. Partridge ), conspiracy theories, sin and vice...

Anyway, Google Scholar is more useful than regular search... And if you're at a library that has access to databases, you can look up and download articles.. (My university VPN that I'm connected to inserts a little "Findtext" button on every google scholar search so it doesn't matter so much that the university-provided aggregate search tool isn't so good.)
Posted by Jhai (Member # 5633) on :

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