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Stepping out of the ivory tower: a sociological engagement in ‘the cult wars’

Barker, Eileen (2011) Stepping out of the ivory tower: a sociological engagement in ‘the cult wars’. Methodological Innovations Online, 6 (1). pp. 18-39. ISSN 1748-0612

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Abstract

The paper describes how the author‟s research into a new religious movement in the 1970s led to her finding herself a player in the „cult wars‟, with a variety of different groups competing to have their constructions of images of the movements accepted by policy makers and the general public. The main players were the movements themselves, their opponents in the form of various „cult-watching groups‟, and the media. Critical of the selective nature of the images, and concerned about the impact that these were having on „the cult scene‟, the author founded Inform, an independent NGO that draws upon the methodology of the social sciences to provide information about minority religions that is as reliable and objective as possible. The paper describes some of the battles that ensued, focussing on methodological issues that have confronted her as she has pursued her research outside the Ivory Tower.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.pbs.plym.ac.uk/mi/
Additional Information: © 2011 The Author
Library of Congress subject classification: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Sociology
Research centres and groups > Centre for the Study of Human Rights
Research centres and groups > INFORM (Information Network Focus on Religious Movements)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2013 12:19
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/50872/

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