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Unorganized atheism and the secular movement: reddit as a site for studying 'lived atheism'
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology. Uppsala University. (Impact)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4218-7806
Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada.
2019 (English)In: Social Compass, ISSN 0037-7686, E-ISSN 1461-7404Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This article examines discussions on the reddit.com forum /r/atheism in comparison with rhetoric found in contemporary atheist organizations and among leading figures within the atheist movement. We demonstrate how the culture of /r/atheism converges with that of formal atheist cultures, most importantly regarding understandings of rationality and how religious people deviate from it, while highlighting areas of tension regarding how to relate to religion and religious people. We conclude that the social experience of community and belonging appears to be as important as other more instrumental goals commonly adopted by secular activists, and that tensions regarding the practice of atheism and the purpose of the forum correspond to tensions found in formal institutional contexts. We thus argue that while /r/atheism is not directly or explicitly affiliated with atheist activism, overlap in the nature of discussion and debates is sufficient to consider the forum another window into the development of a general atheist culture practiced in institutional contexts and at the everyday level of ‘lived’ atheism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2019.
Keywords [en]
atheism, religion, social media, social movements
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-366398DOI: 10.1177/0037768618816096ISI: 000458884000008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-366398DiVA, id: diva2:1283568
Funder
The Impact of Religion, Challenges for Society, Law and DemocracyAvailable from: 2019-01-29 Created: 2019-01-29 Last updated: 2019-08-01Bibliographically approved

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Lundmark, EvelinaLeDrew, Stephen

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