Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Kristi Fondren

Second Advisor

Robin Conley

Third Advisor

Marty Laubach

Fourth Advisor

Fred Roth


Despite a history of oppression, the American Neo-Pagan movement is rapidly growing in popularity. Building on the social constructionist basis of Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann, this work investigates Neo-Pagan perspectives and social responses to the stigmatization of their Neo-Pagan identity. Utilizing phenomenological methods, this study aims to answer three main research questions: (1) Are there common experiences that have led individuals to participate in the Neo-Pagan community? (2) Are there benefits gained by those who participate in the Neo- Pagan community? If so, (3) are there mechanisms utilized by participating members to cope with the stigmatization of their Neo-Pagan identity? A total of forty-five semi-structured interviews were conducted with members of this community at Neo-Pagan festivals in Indiana and Ohio during the summers of 2011 and 2012. The findings suggest that there are common social experiences and benefits that can lead to participation in the Neo-Pagan movement and that there are coping mechanisms intentionally utilized by members of this community to minimize the effects of associated stigma. Broad scale social impacts are considered.


Neopaganism - United States