The difference engine: Liberation and the rave imaginary

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The last decade of the 20th century witnessed the growth of non-traditional desires for 'religious experience', for liberation in the sense Heelas (1998: 7) identified as the postmodern quest for personal freedoms, for dijference, without seeking essential, or fundamental, difference. With a rich inheritance from earlier explorations, saturated with the tinctures of Eastern religion and Western psychotherapy, contemporary self-othering is textured by a farrago of beliefs and practices transparent in communications with the Otherworld, and in the transcendence devices of psycho actives, new technologies and consumer experiences agglomerated in public events - those 'privileged point[s] of penetration' (Handelman 1990: 9) and theatres for the performance of 'ultimate' or 'implicit' concerns (Bailey 1997: 9). In recent times, a growing corpus of work has introduced sites accommodating alternative spiritualities, gathering places for those 'hypersyncretic' seekers of self and enchantment that Sutcliffe calls a 'virtuosic avant-garde' (2000: 30). Mike Niman's People if the Rainbow (1997), Adrian Ivakhiv's Claiming Sacred Ground (2001) and Sarah Pike's Earthly Bodies, Magic Selves (2001 a), for example, document the appearance of festivals and gatherings 'exemplifying the migration of religious meaning-making activities out of ... temples and churches into otherspaces' (Pike 200la: 5). Here the proliferating culture of rave and its expressive others paces will receive such attention.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRave Culture and Religion
EditorsGraham St John
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9780203507964
ISBN (Print)9780415314497, 9780415552509
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameRoutledge Advances in Sociology
ISSN (Print)2643-4261
ISSN (Electronic)2155-2932


Dive into the research topics of 'The difference engine: Liberation and the rave imaginary'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this