Monday, October 27, 2008

Practicing Religion in the age of the media ed stewart hoover and lynn schofield clark 02 ny: Columbia univ press

Practicing Religion in the age of the media ed stewart hoover and lynn schofield clark 02 ny: Columbia univ press

"Intro: The Cultural construction of rel in the media age" by stewart m. hoover 1-6
1-in 70s, televangelism started, at same "time when rel was playing an ever more important role in domestic and intl pols"
-then, as in the era of non-authority sanctioned relus radio broadcasts, rel was seen as ind from media, but now it's more complex, "layered interconnections btwn relus symbols, interests, and meanings and the mod media sphere w/in which much of contemp culture is made and known"; (eg music icons express faith "but in ways that r (2) consciously and deeply embedded in contemp, mediated, musical, visual, and performative genres, the lines btwn "rel" and "the media" become blurred"
2-looks at how rel is done outside tradl boundaries and how media is now more a place for idy formation than it was before

*-but just saying u need many perspectives is “trite and unhelpful”, but u can look at stuff in terms of “practice”: “This means that instead of focusing on social structure, or instittns, or formal claims about meanings and values, the contributors stand in the middle of these things, where indvs and communities can b seen to b active in the construction of meaning.”—(3) based off Bourdieu’s idea that “objects of knowledge r constructed, not passively recorded, and contrary to intellectualist idealism, that the principle of this construction is the system of structured, structuring dispositions, the habitus, which is constituted in practice and is always orientated towars practical functs”
3-“This is an approach that recognizes the various complexities as they converge in real exprc, as they r engaged, constructed, reconstrued, mode meaning of, and used.”, how and where ppl produce relus goals—“not so interested in those goals per se”
-labels of “sacred and secular” can’t help much here where both boundaries r so blended, also eg public/private
5-and popular media has delegitimized authorities, and elite/pop, mainstream/marginal; new ideas of relus—doing things traditionally thot as secular “relusly”, charisma of celebrities; direct/mediated exprcs, north/south
“The ‘Prtstntization’ of Research into Media, Rel, and Culture” by Lynn Schofield Clark 7-33
7-pts to a contradicting “cultural victory and organztnl decline for lib prtstnsm in the U-S-.”—cultural values like “indvlsm, freedom, pluralism, tolerance, democracy, and intellectual inquiry”—(cf N. Jay Demerath III “cultural victory and orztnl…”); (8) and even Tocqueville and weber ptd it out, esplly indvlsm and capitalsm; and also “relus tolerance and relativism”
11-in post-civil war US, “Xnty…Continued to serve as the primary content and hence driving force behind the spread of magazines, almanacs, and other printed mats thruought the settled East and the Western frontier.”

12-in 50s, lib prtstnts were hi culture and saw tv as spreading “moral decadence, superficiality, and commercializtn”, tho evangelicals and rcs embraced it—tho they assumed a passive audience
13-US govt sponsored “social research and policy formation” “to mitigate the effects of industrialztn”; and the presumption that the radio helped hitler rise to power led to research on mass media’s power of persuasion in the 30s; then soon also research for media in relation to consumption, looking personal attributes relation to voting, rel, and product purchasing in 50s
14-in 60s, idea of culture changed from ideas of “taste and refinement” to a “way of life”, b/c Raymond Williams 65, ppl used gramsci and althusser and saw culture as way for social change—and many studies started to look at rel in the media
15-then james carey theorized that media was a “ritual” that brot social cohesion, not just transmitting info

17-theres been a “global rise of conservative xn views”
“Allah on-line: the Practice of Global islm in the Information Age” by Bruce B. Lawrence 237-253

237-authority in islm is scriptural (Q), charismatic (hadith of m.), and juridicial (sharia, ulama)—all have narratives, and all r contested
238-most common story of islmic authority sets up islm w/ pols, (239) but that’s not the only way—eg diversity of islms
239-paper looks at impact of info technology revo (ITR--idea by manuel castells) on islm
240-believes that relus boundaries r not swiftly changed, islm and technogy is multifaceted, and “info techngies, like relus trads, remain inherently conservative…they tend to reinforce global structures and asymmetries rather than bode a new era for civil society and transformative justice” (ef saskia sassen G and its discontents 98, esp 177-94)

-the idea of “str8 path” (from fatha), is common idea for all muslims, but u need to know wht’s not the str8 path to know what is—and this reqs authority, but internet tests authority so it makes str8 path unclear—still guideposts (Q, M, Sharia) but they r now being redefined
*-“And since not all Muslims have equal power or equal access to the Web, (241) there is already a preselection, a filtering, of Muslim perspectives on the Net”—tho still “staggering diversity”
241-bks on Muslim communites in W., cf kepel allah in the w.; leonard the south asian amercns—so do they shape asian muslims or other way around?
-uses 3 cats of rel in media of hoover and venturelli “the cat of the relu” critical studies in mass comm. 13 (’96)—(242) instittnl (indp cultural groups), polities, and private (incl small grps)
242-for intittnl grps—“huge overap”; also marginal grps outside trad ideas—doing polemics against others
“scapegoating and deterrence: criminal justice rituals in amercn civil rel” by Carolyn marvin 203-218

203-looks at “US criminal justice system as an instittn of ritual sacrifice…w/in the framework of amercn civil rel…”; w/ civil rel referring to ntlsm as a rel b/c “All rel, it could b said, invests int eh notion of a transcendent power that commands life and death”—does not need g, specifically, in this case, it’s the nation as supreme
204-believes ritual is there to create grp cohesion, and unity exists when violence w/in grp is low—and that’s why deterrence is used, tho it does not eliminate it, it “displace[s] and conceal[s] it”
205-nation is totem, “and the nation-state is the agent of totem killing authority”—like when durk’s ppl ate or killed the totemic animal “on designated ritual occasions”—b/c grp survival demands proof that everything is subservient to it—and the ‘totem secret’ is smtimes grp has to kill own members—and unity fails if secrte is revealed—and for nation-state, war is the most powerful sacrifice

207-sacrifice unifies grp if: 1. Victim is willing, 2. Grp agrees that its rt, 3. Outcome must b uncertain, 4. Ritual must have definite beginning and end, 5. It must b valuable, 6. And its commemorated, or if fails, discarded
208-eg war, elections (humiliation, “ordeals of courage”, failure means [poll] death)
210-it must appear that victim is arbitrarily chosen for the “sacrificial mechanisms of society [to remain] concealed”

-2 sacrifical goats (killed and exiled into wilderness, from levit 16 (205)) of amercn justice system r plaintiff and defendant –but idies can shift even during trial and this makes for grp confusion, (211) and if its not cleared up, fitual fails

“Ritual and the media” Ronald l. grimes 219-234
*220-lists 11 diff ways media and ritual interact: 1. “media presentation of a rite”;
2. Ritual event extended by media”, eg “tv coverage of a papal mass witnessed by a fithful cath viewer.”;
3. “ritual actions in virtual space”, eg “Cyberspace weddings resulting in legal marriage.”;
4. “Subjunctive (or “ludic”) ritualizing”, eg “Myth- or fantasy-based games played on the Internet “as if” they were rites.”;
5. “Magical rite w/ media device as ‘fetish’ (or ‘icon’).”,eg “putting a hand on a TV set to receive healing power from an evangelist”;
6. “Ritualized behavior toward electronic objects.”, eg “The TV set as functl centerpiece of family gatherings; a computer terminal as locus of ultimate concern.”;
7. “A media-delivered ritual object.”, eg “Presentation of a Torafax page on the World Wide Web.”;
8. “A media document as a certificate of ritual act.”, eg “Funeral videos mailed from Toronto to Africa to attest to a death.”;
9. “Ritual use of media device.”, eg “Amplification of Pueblo drumming during a ceremony; worship services built around CD-ROMs produced by the Amercn Bible Society.”;
10. “mediated ritual fantsy”, eg “The initiation scene in the film Emerald Forest.”;
11. “Media as model for, or butt of, ritual activity.” , eg “Hollywood gestures imitated, consciously or unconsciously, in liturgical space; media-manufactured images as objects of homiletical critique.”

227-in media-ritual studies, defs of “ritual” have varied; (228) it is a medium like any kind of art; theories of its orgins will remain unverifiable; (229) so now scholars focus on what they “do”—durk and turner perspectives (cohesion and social transformation); and jzsmith has us look at ritual’s ability to create boundaries
230-it also is performance—showing or doing, both for efficacy and entertainment

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