Summary and Info
Do prophecies fail? A small group led by spirit mediums, infiltrated by social scientists, and reported on at intervals by the press: Together, these different parties create a sequence of mutual misunderstandings that leads both to a series of missed appointments with flying saucers from distant planets and to success in averting a global catastrophe. This volume proposes a re-reading of Leon Festinger's classic work on cognitive dissonance, offering a different account of the motivations and meanings of a group expecting the arrival of spacemen from another planet and anticipating the End of the World, and incorporating the social scientists who studied them into the picture. The author explores the relations between anthropology and psychology and between social scientific and natural scientific accounts of human behaviour, contributing to ideas about the role of science in contemporary society and to the sociology of secrecy..