Edgar, Iain Ross (1994) Imaginary fields: the cultural construction of dream interpretation in three contemporary British dreamwork groups. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

Dreams have, SInce time immemorial, both reflected the culture of those who dream them and have been used by them, with or without the help of soothsayers, to shape their personal lives and that of the culture of which they form part. Anthropologists have also, since the beginning of their discipline, commented on and analysed dreams in diverse cultures and in turn derived from these and other analyses, theoretical principles and approaches.
In the modern world, and particularly in the twentieth century, first individual and then group therapies have incorporated the narration and analysis of dreams into their methods. More recently still, this process has been, at least partially, democratised and the therapist acting on the individual patient has transformed her/himself into the dreamwork facilitator and resource person for a, more or less, autonomous group.
In this research I established and jointly facilitated three dreamwork groups In order to use experiential groupwork methods to demonstrate the articulation of embodied, but implicit, knowledge. In my analysis of the group process I use anthropological concepts derived from the survey of literature at the beginning of my thesis.
The analysis proper proceeds In four stages.
The first is concerned with "dreamwork", the way that the narration to and within the group can be shown to be collectively converted into a verbally expressed narrative of an experience seen as having hitherto been concealed and confined to the imagination.
Second, I turn to the analysis of structure and process In the group itself and the communicative context in which this dreamwork took place.
Third, I use an hermeneutic analysis to unpick the emiC and etic interpretive, and to some degree feminist inspired, perspectives used by the group to make sense of the narratives they have collectively created.
Finally, I move outwards to the processual, meaning-creating and outcome, analysis of such groupwork methods as gestalt, psychodrama and imagework which are used to elicit meaning from narrated dream imagery.
I conclude that dreams are transformations of cultural symbols and that their interpretation is an example of what Obeyesekere, significantly calling on both psychoanalysis and cultural analysis, has called "the work of culture".

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Political and Global Studies
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2021 08:27
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2021 08:27
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/10007

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