Holy Ghost People (1967)

I don’t know how to handle this Religion question and need guidance.

Write a 3 page double-spaced report on the “functions “of particular practices and/or ideas of the “Holy Ghost People.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZIa4kutkIM You can address “functions” at the level of the individual or the group.

We are assuming that the video you see represents your ethnographic experience. What have you observed that you can describe and then analyze according to its function in this society? It is best if you concentrate on your ideas about 1-2 functions and relate them to specific behaviors, events or verbal statements that you saw rather than provide a wide variety of functions that you have less to describe and speculate about. Focus only on what you observed, and not on other information you might have discovered later, or on what you think you know about other congregations in this region. In this exercise we are not looking at your knowledge of the background of the people or the church viewed in this video that is beyond what you are told by the narrator or beyond what you can observe yourself.

For this exercise I am not greatly concerned if the words you use to describe what you see are the best terms in anthropology. Remember that this report is speculative; do not be afraid to present your interpretation of what you heard or saw. Do not be afraid to make an argument about how a set of ideas you heard some HGP articulate do something in general or in particular, or how particular behaviors work to create functions such as those described by Durkheim, Evans-Pritchard or Mary Douglas (in our lectures). The questions below may help you to develop ideas about the way you would like to focus your paper.

Some Useful Questions

Do you find patterns in the behaviors that participants engage in? What do you assume about the degree to which participants experience a sense of belonging to the group?

Are there patterns in the content of the stories given by the participants at the beginning of the film? What do you find is important to them about their personal accounts? How do you interpret the content of the personal stories told earlier in the film?

From verbal pronouncements and behaviors, what do the participants hope to gain from this religion as a whole, or in this particular service?

How do the ideas and practices help participants/members to structure their lives and relationships with others in their world?

What can you observe about the voluntary and institutionalized leadership positions in this service?

What is your interpretation of the symbolism conveyed in statements made by the members: dress, musical instruments, unusual happenings (things special, out of the ordinary or “sacred”)?

What are some of the likely beliefs held by congregation members concerning: signs from the supernatural, the importance of demonstrating their connection to the holy spirit, participation in singing and dancing, and the handling of snakes?

How do their religious beliefs and expectations influence the interpretation of their dreams?

Within this group, do you find segregation with respect to activities, particular practices, or verbal offerings with respect to age, gender, ethnicity, or any other social category of difference that might exist in U.S. society?

What forms of problems, illness or distress do participants look to these services to assist them to remedy or overcome?

find the cost of your paper

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