Conference Agenda

Session
RN34_10a: Theoretical and methodological challenges in studying sociology of religion
Time:
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Sinisa Zrinscak, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Law
Location: BS.4.05A
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Fourth Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road

Presentations

Actor-Network Theory as a Way to Research Religion

Petra Tlcimukova

University of Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic

Actor-Network Theory has gained quite a lot of interest in the world of social sciences in last couple of decades. Not always perceived as uncontroversial, it has been widely discussed as both theoretical and methodological approach to study social phenomena. In this presentation, I intend to look at the ways it offers to grasp the social reality of what is understood under the term “religion”. Based on the work of Bruno Latour I will debate how he understands “religion”, how can it be possible useful and innovative and, on the other hand, what are the drawbacks of his approach, for the study of religion as a social phenomenon. I will debate the classic sociological boarder line between religious and secular (religion and science) and put it in contrast with the approach of Actor-Network Theory. In the presentation I will use examples and reflections from my own field research.



Social Network Analysis Of The Satanic Milieu In The Russian Social Network “Vkontakte”

Oxana Mikhaylova

National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russian Federation

In May of 2018 representative of the Russian Security Council argued that now destructive satanic cults spread their ideology in Russian social networks. He claimed that these destructive organizations affected young people attitude and behavior. In this research we investigated satanism in the Russian social contest using the definition of satanism provided by Petersen. This sociologist argued that satanism was constituted by three discourses: reactive, esoteric and rationalistic. Among these three ideal types only reactive satanism represents the explicit intentional sometimes aggressive rebellion against Christianity. Currently, there are many satanic communities in “Vkontakte”, some of these groups spread reactive type of satanism, which is not connected with violent activities and should not be controlled. Therefore, this study is aimed at elaborating criteria which could help to make difference between reactive, esoteric and rationalistic types of satanism on the level of the network structure of the texts which are produced by Russian satanic groups in social network “Vkontakte”. For this purpose, satanism was conceptualized, taking into account peculiarities of the Russian juridical discourse. After that, the exploratory analysis of semantic structures of the satanic texts was performed and differences between discourses were outlined. In the future it is planned to check whether the communities which carry these discourses intersect in terms of the subscribers.