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Gender, Religion and Authority in Digital Media

2019 Essachess  
This article discusses how women's authority to speak about religion is forged in digital media and builds on empirical work focusing on bloggers in a Swedish context and vloggers in a North American context. These studies show how women's self-performances in digital media are characterized by a communicative intention towards authentic self-expression. We argue that these self-performances also enable a particular form of authority to emerge, that is dependent on an individual's personal
more » ... ual's personal qualities and ability to inhibit and/or perform certain values; relational and co-effected, forged in constant connectivity with audiences. Authenticity is a core characteristic of this form of authority in the sense of a connection between being true to your inner self and acknowledging your dependence on others. Finally, vulnerability is an intrinsic part as, on the one hand, a condition enhanced by the socio-technological affordances of digital media and, on the other, as a possibility to challenge stigma, open up spaces of inclusivity and enacting a different ideal of authority.
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