Future section

MEETINGS 2013-2018

440th Meeting at the Alliance Franšaise, Chiang Mai: “Re-enchantment of the Ganesha Cult: 'Action At a Distance' through Social Media”.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018.

A Talk by Arratee Ayutacorn (อารตี อยุทธคร)

The Talk:

The study investigates the effect of media technologies on ritual practice and belief of Ganesh cult in Chiang Mai. With the rise of internet, social media, and mobile use, spirit cults increasingly penetrate into people lives. This study argues that scientific rationalism in modern era does not diminished religious enchantment because religious belief and practices have been adjusted to modern society. The rise of spirit cults reflects religion  re-enchantment that respond the need of people in consumerism society. Modernity does
not destroy the persistence of spirit cults but it helps in establishing and distributing a new cult through technology and mass media.

Social media is crucial for publicizing Ganesh cult belief. Media technology is employed as a means of evangelizing membership and solidifying identity. It mediates the interaction between people and spirit cult with unrestricted freedom. The distance between spirit cult and people is abolished since they could participate the ritual events online. The followers ‘act at a distance’ but they still receive the authentic sense of spirit cult. It is shown that spirit cult is increasingly attached to everyday life. The secularization process relegates
religious life into the realm of private life.

The Speaker:

Arratee AYUTTACORN is a lecturer at the Department of Social Science and  Development, Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University. Her research interests include affective economy and body politics of flight attendants, and symbolic economy of Ganesh cult. Recently, she has conducted research focusing on Shan female migrants who live with HIV/AIDS.

Want to read more? ....click "HERE"(PDF File for downloading or reading online - 11 pages).


  << Back to Meeting Diary