Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines

Religion in Meaning Making and Boundary Work: Theoretical Explorations

Dahinden, Janine ; Zittoun, Tania

In: Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 2013, vol. 47, no. 2, p. 185-206

Based on the articles brought together for this special issue, this article proposes a transversal analysis and theoretical elaboration of the question of the uses of religious elements for meaning making and boundary work. In order to do so, we will first propose a sociocultural psychological perspective to examine meaning making dynamics. Second, we will apply a boundary work perspective, as... More

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    Summary
    Based on the articles brought together for this special issue, this article proposes a transversal analysis and theoretical elaboration of the question of the uses of religious elements for meaning making and boundary work. In order to do so, we will first propose a sociocultural psychological perspective to examine meaning making dynamics. Second, we will apply a boundary work perspective, as recently developed in the social sciences, on the organization of religious differences. The first considers religious elements as resources that can be used by people to orient themselves in time and the social space, to interpret and guide action, and to create new forms of life. The second approach proposes an analysis of uses of religious stuff in order to understand how boundaries between groups are created, transgressed or dissolved as well as to explore the link between religion and power. Our argument is that the articulation of these two approaches can itself offer a rich theoretical frame to apprehend religions in contemporary society.