Accepted Paper:

Deep mapping belief  


Erin Kavanagh (Sheffield Hallam)

Paper short abstract:

The dissemination of knowledge frequently weighs either side of an emic/etic divide. This paper posits an alternative approach, applying the concept of ‘deep mapping’ as ethnographic practice to bridge differing world views without any loss of individual authority, creating a polyphony of belief.

Paper long abstract:

"A deep map is not a thin map… It is a folding of representations akin to the relationship between a "thick" and a "thin" description… it creates a pattern of social and cultural communication, connections which go beyond any single account."

(Kavanagh, 2017, forthcoming - Springer)

The dissemination of knowledge is frequently weighted either side of an emic and etic divide. Stories, psychism and spirit stand across from science, with contesting notions of truth value stirring the normativity in-between.

This paper posits an alternative approach, which has been developed within an interdisciplinary framework to challenge the conventions of geomythological narrative along the coast of Cardigan Bay, in West Wales. It applies the concept of 'deep mapping' as ethnographic practice in order to integrate differing epistemological world views without any loss of individual authority. In this way, semantic density may be retained in an ethically transparent manner and multimodal interpretations are afforded the space to speak with equal voice, creating a polyphony of belief.

Panel MB-SSR07
The ontological turn: new ethnographic approaches, theories and analysis of spirit mediumship, shamanism, religious ritual and discarnate phenomena