Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

4839

Date

2016

Date of Award

11-28-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Sociology

Committee Chair

Carol Rambo

Committee Member

Wes James

Committee Member

Jeni Loftus

Abstract

Existing research on Atheists is sparse in social sciences and focused primarily on survey data regarding attitudes towards Atheists and the types of discrimination they suffer. The lived experiences of Atheists have been ignored almost entirely. Drawing on Autoethnographic materials and 12 life-history interviews, this project documented the ways that individuals who self-identify as Atheist understood the stigmas attributed to them and their responses to it. Some of the behaviors were framed as “techniques of information control” such as “compartmentalizing” and “passing.” Others were framed as “Identity Politics” which they claimed to engage in to resist, minimize, or eliminate stigma completely. The concept of resistance was described at the level of identity, behavior, and as a form of collective activism. Techniques of information control and identity politics, strategies engaged in to resist and/or negotiate stigma, may simultaneously serve to impede efforts towards effective political activism on behalf of Atheists.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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