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Mediatizing the Holy Community—Ultra-Orthodoxy Negotiation and Presentation on Public Social-Media

Department of Leadership and Policy in Education, University of Haifa, Haifa 34998838, Israel
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Religions 2019, 10(7), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10070438
Received: 30 May 2019 / Revised: 4 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 17 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Mediatisation in Global Perspective)
In recent years, media theorists stress macroscopic relations between digital communications and religion, through the framing of mediatization theory. In these discussions, media is conceptualized as a social institution, which influences religious establishments and discourse. Mediatization scholars have emphasized the transmission of meanings and outreach to individuals, and the religious-social shaping of technology. Less attention has been devoted to the mediatization of the religious community and identity. Accordingly, we asked how members of bounded religious communities negotiate and perform their identity via public social media. This study focuses on public performances of the ultra-Orthodox community in Israel, rhetorically and symbolically expressed in groups operating over WhatsApp, a mobile instant messaging and social media platform. While a systematic study of instant messaging has yet to be conducted on insular-religious communities, this study draws upon an extensive exploration of over 2000 posts and 20 interviews conducted between 2016–2019. The findings uncover how, through mediatization, members work towards reconstructing the holy community online, yet renegotiate enclave boundaries. The findings illuminate a democratizing impact of mediatization as growing masses of ultra-Orthodox participants are given a voice, restructure power relations and modify fundamentalist proclivities towards this-worldly activity, to influence society beyond the enclave’s online and offline boundaries. View Full-Text
Keywords: WhatsApp; ultra-Orthodox; social media; messaging; fundamentalism; digital religion; mediatization; social networks; smartphones WhatsApp; ultra-Orthodox; social media; messaging; fundamentalism; digital religion; mediatization; social networks; smartphones
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mishol-Shauli, N.; Golan, O. Mediatizing the Holy Community—Ultra-Orthodoxy Negotiation and Presentation on Public Social-Media. Religions 2019, 10, 438. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10070438

AMA Style

Mishol-Shauli N, Golan O. Mediatizing the Holy Community—Ultra-Orthodoxy Negotiation and Presentation on Public Social-Media. Religions. 2019; 10(7):438. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10070438

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mishol-Shauli, Nakhi, and Oren Golan. 2019. "Mediatizing the Holy Community—Ultra-Orthodoxy Negotiation and Presentation on Public Social-Media" Religions 10, no. 7: 438. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10070438

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