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Abstract

The question of what leads people from a biographical perspective to go on pilgrimage has been a research object in the Department of Sociology at the FernUniversität in Hagen, Germany. This qualitative study examines the biographical constellations which have led to the decision to go on pilgrimage and therefore a typology of biographical motivations was developed. To achieve the aim of a typology, methods of qualitative research were used. The database consists of narrative interviews that were undertaken mostly with German pilgrims. The life stories of the pilgrims were analysed with Grounded Theory Methodology and made into a typology of five main types of pilgrims: balance pilgrim, crisis pilgrim, time-out pilgrim, transitional pilgrim, new start pilgrim.

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