Abstract

What is offered here is first a description of the question-generating method that I call lateralization. I argue that this method is helpful to researchers studying religion among individuals and groups, especially researchers in the initial stages of a given qualitative research project. Second, I argue that the lateralization method is particularly effective for scholars of transnationalism, diaspora, and migration when applied to Thomas A. Tweed’s theory of religion. Acknowledging religion as a significant force for diasporic communities as they rebuild and maintain identities, in his Crossing and Dwelling: A Theory of Religion (2006), Tweed posits that “[r]eligions are confluences of organic-cultural flows that intensify joy and confront suffering by drawing on human and suprahuman forces to make homes and cross boundaries.” Philip Crang, Claire Dwyer, and Peter Jackson (2003) have argued for approaching transnationalism by means of commodity culture to mitigate the dominant focus on an abstract transnationalism and on bounded diasporic communities. This article suggests that Tweed’s work on religion—modified by applying the lateralization method—would enable scholars to accomplish the tasks Crang, Dwyer, and Jackson have argued for, and would offer more to scholars interested in uncovering multiple dimensions of transnationalism that take religion into account. In the third part of this article, I will illustrate the application of the lateralization method in my own research. In this section, I show how focusing on Āyurveda as a lateralization into Tweed’s theory of religion is a way of engaging with Hindu migrants’ embodied experiences in diasporic spaces. The reader is invited to consider this question-generating lateralization method applied to Tweed’s theory for creative exploration in qualitative research projects.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1911-1568
Print ISSN
1044-2057
Pages
pp. 239-254
Launched on MUSE
2014-03-26
Open Access
No
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