Belief, explanation and rhetoric in the crop circle phenomenon of Southern England

Mason, Bruce Lionel (1991) Belief, explanation and rhetoric in the crop circle phenomenon of Southern England. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

This thesis presents an analysis of various beliefs engendered by the crop circle phenomenon of southern England. It concentrates on the various explanations that have been offered for the origin of the circles. -- Crop circles are areas of cereal crop that have been flattened into a symmetrical, geometric, usually circular shape that do not appear to be explicable in terms of current scientific knowledge. The combination of the anomalous nature of the shapes, their objective reality, and the often stunning beauty of the formations has led to an intensive debate, carried on at all levels of interest, into what causes these shapes, and why. -- The nature of the phenomenon has foregrounded issues in folk belief, that are often obscured in related fields (eg. UFOs, ghost beliefs, fairy lore), pertaining to the methods by which individuals construct systems of belief and explanations from the evidence presented to them. This thesis proposes to utilise this unique opportunity to demonstrate the folkloric nature of explanation. As such it draws on the concepts of traditions of belief and disbelief, paradigmatic revolutions in systems of thought, and the concept of rationally constructed systems of folk belief to demonstrate the methods by which the various explanations for crop circles have been generated, maintained and disseminated.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5497
Item ID: 5497
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 354-400.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 1991
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: England--Wessex
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Explanation; Meteorology--Miscellanea; Crops--England--Wessex--Folklore; Folklore--England--Wessex; Crop circles--England--Wessex

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