eCite Digital Repository

Mass Media and Religious Identity: A Case Study of Young Witches


Berger, HA and Ezzy, D, Mass Media and Religious Identity: A Case Study of Young Witches, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 48, (3) pp. 501-514. ISSN 0021-8294 (2009) [Refereed Article]

Restricted - Request a copy

Copyright Statement

The definitive published version is available online at:

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1468-5906.2009.01462.x


Drawing on interviews with 90 young people who have become Witches, we explore the visual media's influence on identity formation and maintenance. Witchcraft is a late modern religion that is highly individualistic and many young people report they have become a Witch without any interaction with other Witches. The rapid growth of interest in this religion among the young since The Craft was first shown provides an important example of the mass media's role in formation of contemporary religious identity. We argue that representations of Witchcraft in the visual mass media (along with other cultural trends such as environmentalism, feminism, and individualism) and cultural resources such as books, Internet sites, and magazines provide a mediated form of social interaction that sustains the plausibility of Witchcraft as a religion. It also helps the young to develop and legitimate their beliefs and practices and develop their Witchcraft persona.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:mass media, visual media, religious identity, young witches, Witchcraft, Wicca
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Social change
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding Europe's past
UTAS Author:Ezzy, D (Professor Douglas Ezzy)
ID Code:58115
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:21
Deposited By:Sociology and Social Work
Deposited On:2009-09-07
Last Modified:2012-12-03
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page