Constructing the Fox Sisters: Examining the facticity of events surrounding the originators of Modern Spiritualism
J Mayson s0569676 Thesis.wps.doc (75.5Kb)
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This paper uses discourse analysis to examine the different rhetorical strategies that are used to promote the factual nature of three events relating to the Fox sisters. A large sample of written data is analysed to establish themes that present the events as factual representations of what actually occurred in the 19th century. How these accounts are presented helps to gain understanding of how the Fox sisters reputation has survived, despite exposure and confessions that could function to discredit the authenticity of their ability to communicate with the deceased. Analysis will reveal issues relating to accountability, scepticism, warranting how rigorous investigation is conducted, and negotiating credibility. Reasons for how the Fox sisters are still synonymous with the origins of spiritual communication will include the wider picture of questioning the authenticity of the Modern Spiritualist religious movement as a whole.