This paper will be a modified version on a chapter to feature in my PhD thesis that aims to provide an ethnographic portrayal of Amazonian shamanistic practices in Great Britain. It will provide a defense of auto- ethnography, highlight the limitations of the method and serve as an account of my experiences as a researcher, and community member with the Santo Daime Church.
Full PhD: Using an ethnographic perspective what can be understood about Amazonian shamanistic practices in Great Britain. Ethnography and social constructivism using qualitative data collection methods (semi-structured interviews, auto-ethnography, focus groups and participant observation).
This paper: Using Auto-ethnography as a method what can be learnt about the Santo Daime in Great Britain.
It will provide a critique of Auto-ethnography as a method as well as offering an example of the method in use. It is anticipated that a description of the Santo Daime will highlight the beliefs of this faith, how one individual (myself) has become involved with them and how they are operating in Great Britain.
The fact that the Santo Daime have faced court action against their use of the sacrament ayahuasca will also be covered in highlighting the effect that this has had on their operations. From this consideration can be given to the effect that this may have had on the Santo Daime’s data management and the implications of this.
I have been a post Graduate researcher for two years (part time) and am in the process of being transferred from a probationary PhD researcher to a confirmed PhD researcher. My research is multi-disciplinary and covers ethnography, auto-ethnography, the philosophy of religion and social constructivism. I have been involved with the Santo Daime faith for roughly two and a half years.