Gabriel Malli presents a working paper on ‚Religious subjectivity in new social media: the discursive construction of the modest self‘

The following paper addresses the construction of moral subject positions – understood as normative templates for “proper” religious conduct and self-understanding – in Islamic Web 2.0 discourse. In the first section, I discuss four distinctive features of online based social media (participatory potentials, community building, multisensory character, technical infrastructure) with regard to their consequences for the production and reception of religious discursive knowledge. Acknowledging that also purist and fundamentalist Islamic agents make use of Web 2.0 potentials, in the second part of the paper I present empirical findings from certain positions of Islamic gender discourse on YouTube, labelled as religious-authoritative. In their discursive practice they produce strictly binary moral codes of gendered con-duct based on certain conceptions of a God-willed order. Relating to every-day situations of a mostly young audience, they constitute a certain model of subjectivity – the modest self – characterized by self-disciplination and rigid gender practice.