The change in the researcher’s position in the study of shamanism



Shamanism, Neo-Shamanism, Researcher's role, Autoethnography, Methodology, Ethnography, Change, Society


Since the 1960s, shamanism has become one of the landmarks for a new way of life and a more respectful relationship of humans with nature in the Western world. Both researchers and practitioners regard the foundation of shamanism as being animism – an understanding of the connection of all living beings. The role of the community is highlighted in shamanism as the shaman is expected to work for his community. Shamanistic techniques vary according to the society or place where it is practised. In the study of neo-shamanism in the post-modern world, autoethnographic research has been seen as necessary, especially in order to explore the experience of the shaman. In this article we ask what has changed in the perceptions of the community in the study of shamanism and how this change has influenced the position of the researcher. Our article reflects on the resolution of the diversity and sameness through autoethnography, where the researcher is located not only in the experience, but also in its interpretation – which highlights great challenges in contextualizing the study, in writing on the concepts concerned, and indeed in the entire research process.




How to Cite

Kouri, J., & Hytönen-Ng, E. (2022). The change in the researcher’s position in the study of shamanism. Approaching Religion, 12(1), 117–131.