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The Process of Ritual: a Twenty-Year Survey of Literature

Description: Use of the term "ritual" in PsycLit from 1975-1995 was examined through an archival study. Abstracts identified as including any form of the term were coded for valence, target population, study type, and differential area of interest. Valence was predominantly positive, consistent across time, with a growing negative trend. Interest in ritual has increased. Key elements of adaptive ritual were identified as recurrence across time, shared symbolism and volitional participation. A Dynamic Process of Ritual is proposed which includes the individual, society, and chaos in a fluctuating relationship, all operating within an additional dimension of a continuum of ritualization in which the individual's position is determined by personal and societal complexity and individual response to crisis.
Date: August 1998
Creator: Emmett, Gloria J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Family Rituals and Resilience: Relationship Among Measures of Religiosity, Openness to Experience, and Trait Anxiety

Description: Rituals are an integral part of society. The focus of research on rituals has been shifting to highlight the effect rituals may produce on individual resilience and ability to function. This study examined the relationships between participation in family rituals and several conceptually related facets of the human experience, including religiosity, openness to experience, and anxiety. Participants responded to questions on an assessment instrument (Family Ritual Questionnaire) designed to measure participation in a broad variety of identified family rituals; they were grouped according to responses on that questionnaire, and the resulting groups were compared on their responses to questionnaires addressing religiosity (Religious Background and Behavior Questionnaire), openness to experience (Revised NEO Personality Inventory Openness to Experiences scale), and anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory). The four-group classification system did not produce significant differences on measures of religiosity, openness to experience, or trait anxiety. Nor were there any significant differences noted when the groups were examined on the basis of the demographic characteristics of age, gender, separation time from family of origin, or academic status. The demographic descriptive which was associated with specific group differences related to adult composition of family of origin: participants described the adults present in their families of origin, and the family types were grouped into traditional, mixed, and nontraditional families. A difference was identified between the traditional and nontraditional families on level of ritualization. This finding may be indicative of a useful direction for subsequent research inquiry.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Emmett, Gloria J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Nothingness of Presence: Sound, Ritual, and Encounter in the Music of Into Your Hands

Description: The ritual music written for the Compline service of the Liturgy of the Hours, Into Your Hands, is analyzed using an ontological and phenomenological approach, which seeks to answer how such sound/musical phenomena wed to the specific ritual dynamics of Compline in their own right can create a potential for encounter with the Divine. The Jewish philosopher Martin Buber’s understanding of encounter is used to show that the sound/musical phenomena in itself bears similarities with the nature of the Judeo/Christian God, and such a nature is revealed to be both irreducibly non-conceptual as well as an entity that establishes the ontological actuality of one’s being. Studies in the beginnings of humanity at large as well as the beginnings of the individual fetus reveal that an integrated expression of music and ritual can be said to have formed the impetus of such ontological beginnings through encounter. Therefore, one of the first sounds heard in the womb - that of water (or amniotic fluid) - constitutes what may be an archetypal sound of encounter. The phenomenological effects of such an archetype are analyzed in the music of Into Your Hands through topics such as the loss of aural perspective, immersion, dynamic swells, cyclic harmonic progressions, and simultaneity. Works of other composers who use similar techniques are discussed.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Evans, Eric
Partner: UNT Libraries

Everyday Performances in U.S. Household Kitchens

Description: BMA Innovation Consulting is committed to serving consumers products that can play a more meaningful role in household cleaning. So far, their innovation department has used psychology-based principles and approaches that have helped them understand consumers’ preferences, attitudes and claimed needs in household cleaning. That said, little information has been collected on the active role that products play or could play as participants in the everyday dynamics of US consumers. An anthropological approach to the study of U.S. kitchens, as an important center of family interaction in U.S. households, should yield important insights to the design and development of products that can more effectively and more actively participate in those dynamics. With this project I am fundamentally proposing a new approach to the identification of critical product design requirements. Figure on the right shows the key differences between the psychology-derived principles the organization is mostly using today vs. the anthropological lenses through which I will be conducting my research. Overall, I will be leveraging existing knowledge in the “individual desires” realm, connecting it to the collective situation & cultural context within which “cleaning action” emerges.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Rosado-Bonilla, Mireilly Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

Environmental journalism curriculum as an imperative of democracy: A philosophical exploration.

Description: Economic retrenchment, social shifts, and technological changes endanger journalism's democratic role. Journalism education faces parallel threats. I review the state of journalism and education, linking the crisis to society's loss of story, framed philosophically by the Dewey-critical theory split over journalism and power. I explore the potential for renewing journalism and education with Carey's ritual model and Postman's restoration of storytelling. I then summarize existing major academic programs and suggest a new interdisciplinary curriculum for environmental journalism, a specialty well suited to experimental, democracy-centered education. The curriculum uses as pedagogy active and conversational learning and reflection. A graduate introductory course is detailed, followed by additional suggested classes that could form the basis of a graduate certificate program or, with further expansion, a graduate degree concentration.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Loftis, Randy Lee
Partner: UNT Libraries

Reforming Ritual: Protestantism, Women, and Ritual on the Renaissance Stage

Description: My dissertation focuses on representations of women and ritual on the Renaissance stage, situating such examples within the context of the Protestant Reformation. The renegotiation of the value, place, and power of ritual is a central characteristic of the Protestant Reformation in early modern England. The effort to eliminate or redirect ritual was a crucial point of interest for reformers, for most of whom the corruption of religion seemed bound to its ostentatious and idolatrous outer trappings. Despite the opinions of theologians, however, receptivity toward the structure, routine, and familiarity of traditional Catholicism did not disappear with the advent of Protestantism. Reformers worked to modify those rituals that were especially difficult to eradicate, maintaining some sense of meaning without portraying confidence in ceremony itself. I am interested in how early Protestantism dealt with the presence of elements (in worship, daily practice, literary or dramatic representation) that it derogatorily dubbed popish, and how women had a particular place of importance in this dialogue. Through the drama of Shakespeare, Webster, and Middleton, along with contemporary religious and popular sources, I explore how theatrical representations of ritual involving women create specific sites of cultural and theological negotiation. These representations both reflect and resist emerging attitudes toward women and ritual fashioned by Reformation thought, granting women a particular authority in the spiritual realm.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Reynolds, Paige Martin
Partner: UNT Libraries