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Modernity and the Supernatual in Taiwan: Gods, Ghosts, and Ancestors Revisited

  • Author / Creator
    Habkirk, Scott
  • This research examines how religious and supernatural beliefs have changed with the rapid modernization and increased standard of modern, scientific education in Tainan, Taiwan. Participants in my project were between the ages of 20-40, had at least some post secondary education, and were from Tainan or had lived in Tainan for a significant amount of time. Tainan, a city of over 750,000 people, is one of Taiwan’s oldest cities and is a traditional cultural stronghold. Through a look at beliefs about and experiences with Taiwanese ghosts, gods and ancestors, I explore how modernization has affected beliefs about the supernatural for young adults in Taiwan who are struggling to balance their filial obligation to honor what has been passed down for generations and preserve what makes their culture unique with their desire to be seen as modern and progressive in the global arena of transnational cultural flows.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2011-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3RH98
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Anthropology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Jean DeBernardi (Anthropology)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Kathleen Lowrey (Anthropology)
    • Stephen Kent (Sociology)