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Record Type: Review   ID: 1017

Interpretative Biography (Qualitative Research Methods Vol. 17)

Denzin, Norman K.

But, when it comes to Denzin’s list of the forms epiphanies take, they are primarily viewed as events, which I take to mean capable of being publicly verified, even if the experiencer was alone at the time. It implies that had another person been there, he or she would have witnessed the "event" occurring. The anomalous experiences that are potential EHEs, such as poltergeists, are associated with publicly observable phenomena, but most are not. They are subjective experiences, but, I believe, of our species consciousness, which Jung referred to as "the objective psyche." As a scientist, perhaps Denzin preferred to call them events, even though the definition refers primarily to experiences. But when he gives examples, they are experiences of special meaning associated with an event capable of being publicly observed. (I note Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition, emphasizes the subjective nature of epiphanies. As with the more dramatic types of EHEs, in regard to epiphanies, I suggest it is the subjective quality of the experience that gives the associated event its special importance, not the event in itself.) Nonetheless, this book is useful in showing how what I will call a "normal" epiphany can be viewed, socially, culturally, and personally. From this, maybe someone can extrapolate and apply this approach to epiphanies that are not events but exceptional human experiences.

Publisher Information:Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1989. 93p. Bibl: 85-93. 1 table
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