Tag Archives: Kirby

Robertson—The Law of the Jungle

The Law of the Jungle: Self and Community in the Online Therianthropy Movement

by Venetia Laura Delano Robertson

[Robertson, Venetia Laura Delano. 2012. “The Law of the Jungle: Self and Community in the Online Therianthropy Movement.” Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies 14 (2).]

Points

  • Therianthropy exists as part of a larger occultic miliieu – which “encompasses superstition, folklore, the New Age, popular culture, conspiracy theories, and Jungian theory, to name only a few ingredients in this spiritual melting pot” (259).
  • Describes in detail the beginnings of AHWW
  • Includes a discussion of grilling—“the process of interrogating and challenging new members to ensure that they sub- scribe to the accepted view of Therianthropy and will therefore be serious contributors to the community” (269).
  • Frames Therianthropy as liminal in nature
  • Doesn’t seem to think an anthropology of Therians would be possible

Abstract

The Therianthropy community is comprised of individuals who profess an other-than-human identity, in particular an animal identity. Existing almost solely online, this socio-spiritual identity group experiences tensions between the individual and personal gnosis, and the community and communal consensus, when it comes to evincing the epistemologies, that is, knowledges and ways of knowing concerning Therianthropy. By examining how themes of authority, belonging, and both group and self-acceptance are played out in the discourse and activity of this movement, implicit modes of initiation and rites of passage can be envisaged. These modes are vital for the success of this movement, as they continuously solidify a sense of group and individual identity through the clear designation of an in- and out- group. Yet, the Therianthrope is held up as a liminal figure, an other than human being who resides in a sacred, interstitial state. This is the essence of what is thought to separate Therianthropes from other humans, and what makes this identity group a challenge to traditional conceptions of initiation and rites of passage. Keywords: animal-human; identity; online community; other-than-human; Therianthropy.” Continue reading Robertson—The Law of the Jungle

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Shane—Some People Aren’t People on the Inside

Some People Aren’t People on the Inside: Online Connectivity and Otherkin Subjectivities

by Margaret Shane

[Shane, Margaret. 2014. “Some People Aren’t People on the Inside.” In Educational, Psychological, and Behavioral Considerations in Niche Online Communities, edited by Vivek Venkatesh, 260–71. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.]

  • Otherkin identity queers ontology
  • Otherkin as a “flow of desire” rather than marginal subculture
  • Onto-Normativity—A compound term of art comprised of the prefix “onto” derived from “on­tology” referring to philosophical considerations of reality and being; and “normativity” referring to predominant norms. In this context, the term points to habits of thought governing reality prevalent in contemporary Western society.”

ABSTRACT

So-called alternative on line niche communities are prone to ridicule, derision, and dismissal owing to the challenges they pose to prevailing onto-normativities, those ingrained modes of thought that dictate how we describe reality. Relying on the divergent approaches of classic SWOT analysis and post-structuralist philosophy and queer theory, this chapter explores how online connectivity shapes expressions of one niche community, the Otherkin. Otherkin are conceived as flows of desire, difference, and becoming rather than as a marginalized sub-culture occupying virtual space. As such, Otherkin are queering and destabilizing established norms in ways that call forth radically new ethics, aesthetics, ontologies, epis­temologies, and social connections. This chapter relies upon Otherkin online texts and expressions to make the case that such destabilizations are essentially creative acts and that on line connectivity affords Otherkin strengths and opportunities as well as revealing weaknesses and representing threats to their niche community Continue reading Shane—Some People Aren’t People on the Inside