Having viewed 'The Making of a Moonie' devise a research plan based upon Eileen Barker's methods that will address a study of the followers of the Wicca in the UK.

Essay by inspiration6400College, UndergraduateD-, November 2009

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

Downloaded 17 times

'The Making of a Moonie' was a short video about the longitudinal study conducted by Eileen Barker in the 70's and 80's which is of great interest to myself as an anthropology professor. It begins by outlining who the 'Moonies' are (members of the 'Unification Church'; a new religious movement concerned with establishing a literal 'Kingdom of Heaven' on earth (1)) and providing examples of their less than favourable press coverage. This is important as to understand Barker's research and what it means we must first understand the subjects being researched. The Unificationists were founded in the 1950's and have been portrayed as a strange and bizarre cult in newspapers and news reports ever since. As Barker points out, members of the new religious movement live away from their families and work for the cult (2), resulting in their own subculture of norms and values. Many people have therefore assumed that there is some form of 'brainwashing' at work thus Eileen Barker became interested in investigating just how true this common stereotype of NRM's was.

Barker then talks about her intended aims of this research, how she went about carrying it out and what she found/concluded. As someone who uses social research in his chosen career I must stress the importance of not judging one culture or subculture by another's standards. For example, it may seem strange to most people that Unificationists live away from their family to be with other members of their NRM but we must not label this as 'strange' because it may be (and indeed is) perfectly normal within their social group. Eileen Barker adhered to this well, and spent a great deal of time listening rather than jumping in with potentially leading questions. I was also pleased to see that Barker had included two control...