There are many disciplines or fields of study in the unknown & unexplained. Each one of them specializes & focuses on specific catagories & topics within their own field of expertise. Although certain fields may interact with each other at times through certain topics, its not a commonality. For example, cryptozoologists don’t generally hunt ghosts, demonologists don’t usually skywatch for UFOs, archaeologists don’t usually conduct seances, & parapsychologists don’t preform exorcisms, ect…
However, there is one field which deals with the unknown which can interact with every other field in the unexplained equally. This would be parasociology. Since many are not aware of this unique field of research, let’s first define what exactly parasociology is.
Parasociology is a branch of paranormal research dedicated to examining & studying how paranormal manifestations, activity, or events affect a group or family unit. A group is a number of people who identify & interact with one another. Basically, parasociology is to sociology what parapsychology is to psychology.
So, what makes parasociology so diverse & why does it interact with every other unexplained field of study equally? This is because no matter what field of research in the unknown we are talking about, they all have social implications. Parasociology can look at each type of paranormal phenomena & how it affects a group or family unit.
Although parasociologists are actually a rare breed, l am personally aware of different parasociologists who focus their attentions on different disciplines. One specializes in studying the parasociological aspects in ufology, another studies the parasociological aspects in theology, & another studies the parasociological aspects in metaphysics. Not to say they don’t study the parasociological implications in other disciplines as well. In fact, every field in the paranormal has parasociological implications. Parasociology can also apply to the 6 main catagories of unexplained &/or paranormal research, which are ghosts & haunted places, cryptozoology, ufology, metaphysics, theology, & conspiracy theories & facts.
When one looks a little deeper into parasociology, we can also divide the groups for individual study. One group is society in general. An example would be how pop culture can affect our perceptions of different paranormal occurrences, like UFO’s or Black Eyed Kids for instance. We have what people truly experience apposed to what movies & media tells us is out there, & how they can conflict with each other. This is something as a ufologist l am aware of, & expected to take into consideration as field investigators who interview witnesses of UFO sightings.
Another group is the family unit. An example of this would be how paranormal events can influence the family unit, & the impact that in turn has on each other. Parapsychotherapists & parapsychologists who work paranormal family cases will always take into consideration how that affects the mental health, not only of individuals, but the family unit as well. Paranormal Investigators who are experienced usually understand this as well, & incorporate this into their investigation through interview sessions, whether they are conscious they are applying parasociological angles or not.
Another group, many times even overlooked by parasociologists who study social implications in the paranormal are the paranormal societies or organizations which do the investigating & research. An example is how paranormal television shows can influence how some paranormal teams conduct their investigations or how they deal with the witnesses or property owners who experience paranormal activity, or even the entities. And because cable shows can be filled with dis information, this can take the parasociological perspective in various directions.
The field of Parasociology is starting to take hold thanks to sociologists who understand that paranormal events of any kind can & do affect groups, & wish to study those implications. Many parasociologists use parapsychology as their base, & work off that premise, which is understandable. But that doesn’t limit parasociology to parapsychology. In fact, it enhances parapsychology if nothing else.
The possibilities within parasociology are certainly quite vast. One could study the implications in any one field for years, & there are many fields. Eventually we will see research into some of these disciplines which we have yet to see any large amount of good case study concerning parasociology in other disciplines as the field grows. One may need a doctorate in sociology to be a parasociologist, but one doesn’t need a doctorate to appreciate & bennefit from this newer branch of paranormal research.
If one wants more information on Parasociology, you can do an online search by typing in the name, or go to the Facebook like page Parasociology.