Religious Actors on the Debate Pages of Aftonbladet : A study of how mediatization and deprivatization contribute to a shift in religious authority.

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Religionssociologi


The aim of this study is to investigate how frequently religious actors participate in public debates, on what subjects and with what arguments. This is done by studying the debate pages of Sweden’s largest tabloid: Aftonbladet. Furthermore, the aim is also to study what forms of authority and arguments the religious actors use while participating in the public sphere. In order to answer the research ques-tions the author takes an abductive approach and uses the theories of deprivatiza-tion and mediatization to conduct a sequential mixed method study of Af-tonbladet’s debate page between the years 2001 and 2011. The results show that very few religious actors participate in public debates in Sweden, and that the small sample of articles signed by religious actors are dominated by the Church of Sweden. The Christian groups are represented by religious authorities to a much larger extent than the Jewish and Muslim groups. However, the arguments used by all groups are predominately secular, which would indicate an acceptance of the secular norm in the public sphere.

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