"Godis för kropp och själ" : Välbefinnande och vardagsandlighet i tre svenska kvinnotidningar
deregulation of religion
structure and agency
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AbstractThis thesis analyses discourses on health and wellbeing in three Swedish lifestyle magazines for women, Amelia, Tara and M-magasin, and how readers of these magazines reflect on and negotiate the values and identities presented in them. The aim of the thesis is to contribute to increased knowledge about mediatized religion, directed to women by commercial women's magazines on a secular market, and how this religion is presented, perceived and used as a resource for women's wellbeing, lifestyle and identity. The study is a qualitative case study combining a content analysis of what is referred to as the wellbeing discourses of the three magazines, and a reception study. This design was selected to combine a media centred and a consumer oriented perspective. Inspired by Nancy T. Ammerman, the magazines’ and the readers’ discursive understanding of religion and spirituality was approached through the concept of everyday religion. The magazines and the readers associated religion with institutional religion and a collective experience. Spirituality was related to non-institutional religion and individually chosen meaning-making elements from both non-institutional and institutional religion. This individualistic spirituality was, thus, still connected to institutional religion. This religion can, on an individual as well as structural level, be connected to a global holistic consumption spirituality and a standardization and homogenization of contemporary religion where practises like yoga and meditation occupied a prominent position. The understanding of religion and spirituality presented through the magazines’ wellbeing discourses, can be seen as “glossy-feminism”, a feminism that grows out of a neo-liberal self-help paradigm, and a feminisation of wellbeing in contemporary western society. Wellbeing is depicted as a female concern that legitimates the reader's attention to her own body as the primary tool to achieve control over her own life and social relationships, and for gender equality in society. This strategy is connected to female caring practice in traditional gender positions. The thesis draws on theories of deregulation of religion, the mediatization and individualisation of religion, and contributes to a deeper understanding of how these shape contemporary religious change. Through focusing the understudied area of commercial women's magazines, it contributes with new knowledge to the field of research on media as a primary source of peoples’ encounter with religion.
Impact of Religion
TypeDoctoral thesis, monograph