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Experiences through clay : therapeutic modelling & ceramics in two anthroposophic communities


Experiences through clay : therapeutic modelling & ceramics in two anthroposophic communities

Malikiossis, Ariane A. A (1999) Experiences through clay : therapeutic modelling & ceramics in two anthroposophic communities. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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This thesis is an ethnographic study of the life worlds of three art therapists working in two anthroposophic communities. The goal of the thesis is to explore the therapist's experience with the processes of therapeutic modelling and ceramics and the subsequent knowledge that is produced. For the purpose of this thesis art therapy is considered as a form of experience rather than as a discipline in itself. The definition of experience used in this thesis is the understanding of life through what Wilhelm Dilthey (1833-1911) called Erlebnis , or what has been "lived through". Research was conducted in a therapeutic community in Québec and in a hospital for Neurology and Psychiatry in Germany. Central to this thesis is the theoretical discussion, pertaining to how experience of therapeutic modelling and ceramics can be "captured" and how subsequent knowledge that is produced can be understood. The main theorists discussed are: Bruce Kapferer and his work on the possibility of mutual experience achieved through performance; Robert Desjarlais and his work on the body during the healing ritual and the importance of the aesthetics of daily life; and René Devisch's development of the semantic-praxiological approach and the integration of the senses in his analysis of experience. Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy, worked with the physician Ita Wegman during the 1920's on "the expansion of medicine". Through their intimate experience in their own lives they were in a position both to critique and appreciate biomedicine. This discussion of medical discourses is expanded with the contemporary therapists who present their experience and knowledge of therapeutic modelling and ceramics in narrative form. By merging historical accounts with present-day narratives this thesis shows how individuals influence the forming of medicine and its therapies over time. The discussion of the therapists on experience and knowledge therefore highlights that medicine is an ever changing process.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Malikiossis, Ariane A. A
Pagination:vii, 169 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis Supervisor(s):Cole, Sally
ID Code:853
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 17:14
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:15
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