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On the track towards enlightenment: A semantic analysis of a spiritual capitalism in Runner's World magazine

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On the track towards enlightenment: A semantic analysis of a spiritual capitalism in Runner's World magazine

Potkonjak, Tijana (2009) On the track towards enlightenment: A semantic analysis of a spiritual capitalism in Runner's World magazine. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The subjectivist and secular tune of late modernity have, along with economic shifts that accompanied them, increased the body's centrality to self-identity. Physical embodiment and experience not only act as a type of capital, exchangeable for other forms of currency, but are also - because of the popularization of spirituality - seen as intrinsically valuable and potentially liberatory. In consumer culture, the body-cum-physical capital has become a commodity, and a new relationship based on aesthetics and consumption between the body and the self has developed (in which the body is a "project" of the self). This is a relationship that contemporary spiritualities have been accused of profiting from, but from whose oppressions they promise an escape, in the form of self-transcendence. Running, which will be introduced as one type of "body project," seems to have the potential to liberate the runner from the experience of the mundane. This thesis offers a short genealogy of ascetic practices associated with religion, linking them to those prescribed by the aesthetic regimes of Tate modernity, and then performs a semantic content analysis of the articles in Runner's World magazine, focusing on the intent of the communicator only. The conclusions drawn are that this publication's message is underscored by a contradictory discourse of consumption and asceticism, which is merely one of the contradictions already inherent in the ideology of the capitalist framework within which the magazine operates.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Potkonjak, Tijana
Pagination:vi, 116 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Communication Studies
Date:2009
Thesis Supervisor(s):Stolow, Jeremy
ID Code:976634
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:30
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:42
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