Theses defended

Pós-feminismo no Reino de Deus: poder feminino e feminilidade num contexto de mediatização da religião

Monise Martinez

Public Defence date
June 1, 2023
Doctoral Programme
Feminist Studies
Maria João Silveirinha e Adriana Bebiano
This thesis is placed in the wake of studies that have been questioning how mediatization can contribute to the emergence of communicative spaces in which groups of women can negotiate the meanings of their religious identities in a secular and global culture. Conceptualizing mediatization as an articulation between social practices and the media environment that takes place in a specific historical, social, and political context, the research takes the changes in the Brazilian religious field related to this phenomenon as a core element to ground the communicative practices of women in positions of authority and visibility in the mediatized ecosystem of the Godllywood Project Movement, a part of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG). From an epistemological and methodological Feminist Studies viewpoint, the study thus situates these changes in a «temporality» characterized by phenomena that, together with mediatization, constitute the postfeminist landscape in Brazil, namely: neoliberalization and the hypervisibility of feminism in public discourse, followed by the rise of antifeminism - phenomena that were nourished by a broad repertoire of contradictory ideas about feminism in the context of neoliberal and conservative ideologies. Central to this proposal is the general hypothesis that the Godllywood ecosystem represents an ambiguous and strategic «middle region» that has the potential to transgress and reinforce the status quo - i.e., a space in which women operate as both medium and message; that is characterized by the union of secular-religious, public-private, and feminist-non feminist dichotomies, and that has meaning and political function within the referred ideological context. The ambiguity of the transgression-reinforcement axis of the Godllywood ecosystem would thus lie in the idealization and performance of a model of female subjectivity based on postfeminist discourses, along with unexpected roles and positions of power occupied by those women in the UCKG, by using the self-help as a language. The discourse analysis method that proposes the search for interpretative repertoires is thus adopted and adapted to the present study aiming to examine a corpus consisting of four interpretative contexts within the Godllywood ecosystem. During the familiarization and coding phases of analysis, such analysis provides the identification of three interpretative repertoires associated with the advising dynamics which are scrutinized for their postfeminist tendencies. The analysis highlights the tensions that permeate women's performance around notions of female power, female subjectivity, and femininity, as well as the discursive conception of a postfeminist and antifeminist grammar of a spiritual nature from which women get deviate from and reinforce some gender precedents by representing and disseminating the ideology of IURD in public discourse. These results thus highlight the importance of Godllywood in times of advancing neoconservatism, shedding light on future research on its possible contributions to the understanding of antifeminism in Brazil and new paths of inquiry on the relationships between mediatization, gender and religion in that context.

Keywords: Postfeminism; Antifeminism; Mediatization; Neo-pentecostalism; Godllywood Brazil