|dc.description.abstract||The thesis explores how the category religion is used discursively in Swedish public debates and in what way the discourses can be related to debate-positions. The thesis also explores
questions of power and how social identities are negotiated: which identities are made
possible – and encouraged – by the discourse, and which are being excluded?
The specific cases chosen are: (i) the election of Omar Mustafa as a substitute member of the governing board of the Social Democratic party in April 2013, (ii) the appointment of Elisabeth Svantesson as Minister of employment in September 2013, (iii) the debate concerning male circumcision (2011-2013), and, (iv) the debate about Jewish home education
The theoretical and methodological perspectives used in the thesis are discourse analysis and Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of social fields, usually interwoven together. Discourse analysis is mainly used to explore how the category of religion is attached to central binaries in the debates such as faith/politics, private/public, secularism/fundamentalism, etc., and also how chains of equivalences are established. Bourdieu’s theory of social fields is used to
contextualize the discourses in the specific debates and relate them to orthodox and heterodox debate-positions. Bourdieu’s concept symbolic capital is also used to investigate the rhetoric of generosity in the debates.
The thesis concludes that discourses on religion functions mainly in two different ways. On the one hand, binaries like private/public, religion/politics helps to legitimize the exclusion of certain discourses, practices and subjects from participating in the so-called political or public sphere. On the other hand, when it operates in a different context, the same discourse contributes to obscure the fact that the traditions we call religions have significant indirect political effects – they socialize political subjects for example. In this latter aspect, the discourse may also protect so-called religious discourses, ideologies and practices from criticism.||sv