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Med(ie)vetenhet, motstånd och engagemang: Gymnasieungdomars tal om och erfarenheter av religion
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, The Social Sciences of Religion, Sociology of Religions.
2021 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Media and school constitute the two contexts where young people in contemporary, secularized Sweden most frequently encounter religion. The aim of this study is to explore how upper secondary students talk about their experiences of encounters with religion in various media and other social settings. In addition, the aim is to discuss what implications the results of the study have for the school subject Religious Education (RE). The study was conducted at three different schools and in three different municipalities in Sweden, using a qualitative abductive approach. Data was gained through text writing, focus groups and individual interviews. Students from various ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds participated in the study, as well as from both vocational and preparatory programs. The material was analyzed through constructive thematic coding analysis (CTA) and by using theoretical perspectives concerning the interplay between agency and religious literacy. The results show how students described encounters with different aspects of religion in both the media, school settings and together with family and friends as common. Students expressed both engagement and ambivalence towards talking about religion with each other and others. The most noticeable result was an awareness of, and a strong critique towards, stereotyped and simplified depictions of religion in particularly established news media, films and TV series. Encounters with religion on social media platforms included both negative (e.g., fake news and hate) and positive (e.g., a higher degree of representation and inside knowledge) experiences. Theoretically, the findings suggest that agency as resistance, empowerment, awareness and engagement was visible in the students’ talk. This applies to an understanding of functional, cultural and critical religious literacy as agency. The results also indicate that social relations, such as media, friends and family and different cultural values, such as tolerance, autonomy and a critical stance towards religion, constitute possibilities as well as limitations concerning the students’ agency and talk about religion. The author argues that the study provides new empirical knowledge about young people and religion in contemporary pluralistic Sweden as well as developed theoretical understandings of the concept religious literacy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2021. , p. 244
Series
Studies in Religion and Society, ISSN 1654-630X ; 20
Keywords [en]
youth and religion, agency, religious literacy, media literacy, religious education, upper secondary students, religious change, critique, social media, school, family, friends
Keywords [sv]
unga och religion, aktörskap, religionslitteracitet, medielitteracitet, religionskunskap, gymnasieungdomar, religiös förändring, kritik, sociala medier, skola, familj, vänner
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Sociology of Religion
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-444846ISBN: 978-91-513-1234-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-444846DiVA, id: diva2:1567751
Public defence
2021-09-17, Humanistiska teatern, Thunbergsvägen 3c, Uppsala, 14:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2021-08-20 Created: 2021-06-16 Last updated: 2023-03-13

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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Output format
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