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The Varieties of Ecstasy Experience
An Exploration of Person, Mind and Body in Sydney's Club Culture
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Author(s) :
Sean Leneghan
Pages :
Pub Date :
Edition(s) at Erowid :
2011(pb,1st ed,fine)
Publisher :
Lambert Academic Publishing
This is a phenomenologically grounded ethnographic study of the life-world of ecstasy users in the socio-cultural contexts of raving and clubs in Sydney, Australia. The thesis espouses existential-phenomenology as a framework for describing and understanding these experiences. I argue against and reject the widespread mechanistic-materialist paradigms that inform bio-medical and bio-psychological interpretations of drug-use and non-ordinary states of consciousness. As an alternative to these dominant reductionist perspectives I draw on a holistic organismic approach and the application of phenomenology to ethnographic field research. More specifically, my exploration of the experiences of ecstasy is based upon a dialogal phenomenology which enabled me to generate a processual morphology of the varieties of ecstasy experience and the users' mode of being-in-the-world. Through this endeavour I also argue for a phenomenological foundation of the study of drug-use and non-ordinary states of consciousness in general.

Dr. Sean Leneghan received his PhD in Anthropology from the University of Sydney in 2010. Since then he has continued to research and write in the areas of phenomenological anthropology, psychedelic research and altered states of consciousness. He also continues to work in furthering research into ecstasy in uncontrolled and clinical contexts.