Digital Media, Authority, and the Roman Catholic Church
Hickey, Katherine, Colin Rhinesmith
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this study is to identify the discursive and hegemonic interplay between the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) and American Catholics in digital media. It will use the Year of Consecrated Life (YCL) as a case study to illuminate how American Catholics negotiate discourses of power, oppression, and agency within the Catholic tradition. The appeal of the YCL for the study is two-fold: (1) it is a year-long (November 2014 - February 2016) social, spiritual, and technological campaign undertaken by the Vatican that will reveal the latest Vatican media practices, and (2) the topic of religious life, which remains a Catholic practice perceived as quixotic and perpetuating gender norms. This poster presents a literature review and methodology to answer the following research question: How do Catholics respond to, engage with, and negotiate Vatican regulations of technology use? By attending to the textual discourse of the Roman Catholic Church, the study intends to address a gap in the literature regarding the exertion and use of authority by religious leaders through digital media, as well as the discursive mechanisms used by religious members through digital media to subvert and challenge their leaders’ authority.