Appendix V: A Short Discussion of the methods used in this study


Some Aspects of the Contemporary Search for an Alternative Society, [In Glastonbury, England, 1967-1971]

By Irving Hexham, Unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of Bristol, 1981


N.B. When this thesis was written University of Bristol M.A. Theses were limited to a mere 10,000 words.

The following thesis was written under the supervision of F.B. Welbourn.


My initial aim in making this study was to learn to see the world as it was seen by the people I was attempting to study. This involved learning to live as they live and to think as they think. To do this I made regular trips to Glastonbury, from Bristol between February and August 1971 as well as spending some time living in Glastonbury. In addition to this I mixed with a number of people in Bristol who would fit my classification of "visitor". Most of my time spent in Glastonbury was in the company of the freaks that I found there. During this time I got to know, from the freaks, other people who had had contact with them.


The second stage in my investigation was to meet the people connected with Glastonbury who also have an intere6t in the freaks. A selection of some of these is included in appendix Four. These provide some sort of check on the accuracy of my own observations. In all of my work I attempted to let the people I was talking to speak for themselves and tried to avoid, perhaps too much, "leading questions". my intention in doing this was to understand their own views without suggesting to them ideas which originated from me.


The third stage in my study was to try to form some hypotheses about the culture I was studying and then to make further investigations to check my findings. having done this I attempted to trace the source of the ideas which I found myself dealing with and to form them into a coherent pattern. Finally I attempted to understand the observations which I had made in terms of theoretical standpoints with which I am familiar.


In conclusion my own bias, as a Christian, should be noted. This, I hope, will not have affected my findings in Section~ One ' and Two but naturally impinges on my findings in Section Three. do not believe that it is ever possible, or indeed desirable, to be completely free from bias but by drawing attention to my own I hope to exonerate myself from the unforgivable charge of prejudice.