Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Camilla Collins, Lynwood Montell, Carol Crowe

Degree Program

Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


This thesis is a case study of a contemporary woman psychic, Peggy Sue Turner, who resides in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The traditional aspects of her occupation are balanced with adaptative mechanisms in order to meet current cultural and social needs resulting in a satisfying job for both Turner and her clients. Chapter One provides a review of pertinent literature. Chapter Two details fieldwork methodology. Chapter Three gives the life history of Turner as it relates to the joint development of her femininity and her occupation. Chapter Four describes the overall generalities which Turner applies to all of her work and details the specific work areas of palmistry, the tarot, automatic writing, faith healing, witchcraft, and herbs. Two folklore genres, narrative and belief, are included within each of the work areas. Further, Turner's connections with psychic organizations are given. Chapter Five provides overall conclusions. There are four appendices. Appendix A contains tape summaries of all recorded interviews. Appendix B lists informant biographical information. Appendix C contains selections from popular print sources. Appendix D includes examples of work related information. A glossary and a list of sources consulted complete the thesis.


Anthropology | Folklore | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social and Cultural Anthropology