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Populärkultur, religion och coping: En religionspsykologisk analys av Home Box Office (HBO) The Leftovers
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2020 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In today’s day and age popular culture is a hot topic. Creators of popular culture or media can use their content to start discussions about important topics. These topics can range from politics and misogyny to the search for happiness and faith. One frequently covered topic is popular culture and religion. They are often inter-twined, and religious themes and symbols are frequently used in all sorts of me-dia. Religion can work as a frame which the media has to conform to. Another important subject is how people cope with stress and trauma. This subject is rarely discussed in relation to popular culture. However, it is closely related to religion through religious coping. Using a qualitative method with a deductive approach and a theory ruled analysis the aim of this paper is to examine the relation be-tween popular culture and religion and how religious coping presents itself in HBOs The Leftovers. This is done through Stig Hjarvards (2012) mediatization theory and Kenneth Pargaments (1997) coping theory. The Leftovers is a tv-series which aired between 2015-2017. It shows us what life looks like after an event called The Sudden Departure where 2% of the world’s population disappeared. To examine this, I used the following research questions: (1) How is religion por-trayed in relation to belief in the supernatural and religious phenomena through the theory of banal religion? (2) How is religious coping portrayed in relation to belief in the supernatural? (3) What function does religious coping-strategies have for the fictional characters of Jarden, Miracle. I found that religion is heav-ily used in The Leftovers through practice, belief, symbols and religious themes throughout the story. They use religion as a frame to create a more relatable narra-tive for their story. It is mainly based in Christian theology but also includes oc-cultism and atheism. Furthermore, most of the characters used religion as a coping mechanism to deal with issues as they occurred. Whenever faced with hardship they put their trust in something of a transcendental nature. I also found that The Leftovers coincided with Pargaments and Abu-Raiyas (2015) study which exam-ined what type of a person is more inclined to use religious coping. People of lower social status, elderly people, highly faithful people or women tend to use it over young people, rich people or men.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. , p. 37
Keywords [sv]
The Leftovers, populärkultur, religionspsykologi, religionsvetenskap, religion, media, coping
National Category
Religious Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-403081OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-403081DiVA, id: diva2:1388007
Subject / course
Psychology of religion
Educational program
Upper Secondary School Teacher Education Programme
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2020-01-23 Created: 2020-01-23 Last updated: 2020-01-23Bibliographically approved

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