Religion, Gender, and the Internet

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 10:45-12:15
Location: Hörsaal 42 (Main Building)
RC22 Sociology of Religion (host committee)

Language: English

There is an emerging literature on women, religion and the Internet investigating a wide range of virtual interactions in different contexts. The internet is a gendered social space where the inequalities and prejudices within religions in the offline world can be both reinforced and challenged.
To what extent does “digital religion” offer a “third space” where traditional authority structures can be challenged in ways that might not be possible in the offline environment (Hoover and Echchaibi, 2012)? Or does the fact of the digital divide mean that access to the Internet is skewed in favour of literate women in economically privileged positions with access to modern technologies?
We will explore, and encourage submissions on, case studies about religious and/or spiritual womens’ digital networks, practices and activism. Is there something new or distinctive about online feminist religious and/or spiritual engagement? How is the Internet being used in radicalisation of women and also in deradicalisation strategies? And what methods and theories are applicable for researching women and “digital religion”?
Session Organizers:
Anna HALAFOFF, Deakin University, Australia, Emma TOMALIN, University of Leeds, United Kingdom and Caroline STARKEY, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
Caroline STARKEY, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
Digital Islam: In Search of Gender Equality Online
Lisa WORTHINGTON, Western Sydney University, Australia
#Witchlife: Witchy Digital Spaces
Emma QUILTY, University of Newcastle, Australia, Australia
Muslim Women Online: Giving Voice to Orthodoxy or Reform?
Rosemary HANCOCK, University of Notre Dame, Sydney, Australia
Mediated Belief: Queer Youth, Facebook and Faith
Yvette TAYLOR, University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom
Bhikkhuni Ordination and Digital Activism
Anna HALAFOFF, Deakin University, Australia; Emma TOMALIN, University of Leeds, United Kingdom