By the same authors

From the same journal

Self-identity, authenticity and the Other: The spirits and audience management in stage mediumship

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Publication details

JournalLanguage and Communication
DateE-pub ahead of print - 19 Feb 2013
DatePublished (current) - Apr 2013
Issue number2
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)93-105
Early online date19/02/13
Original languageEnglish


In this paper we address Hasting and Manning’s (2004) call for analysis of relational aspects of the performance and production of social identity, and in particular acknowledgement of the role of the other, or alterity, in identity work. Drawing from methods in the micro sociological study of social interaction, we examine a corpus of video recordings of stage demonstrations of mediumship. These video clips were posted on the internet by the participating mediums. Our analyses focus on various communicative practices in the setting of the demonstration by which a particular other – in this case, the spirits – are invoked, and the rhetorical and inferential consequences that follow for the mediums’ claims to authenticity and authority.

    Research areas

  • self identity, liminality, interaction, performance, mediumship

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