Marketization as cultural ethos in congregations?
Marketization denotes the historical process whereby a market logic provide a means of thinking about social institutions and individuals. It is a process where economistic thinking has come to permeate spheres traditionally considered non-economic. Has a market logic become a dominating cultural ethos in Church of Sweden and Church of Norway?
Professor Per Pettersson, Uppsala University and Service Research Center at Karlstad University, will present a sociological and service theoretical analysis of the Church of Sweden from a member/consumer perspective. How can service theory contribute to understanding the role of the church in present society? What do statistics and research tell about church members’ perception of the church? Who should decide what is quality of services provided by the church; a Sunday service, a baptism of a child, a funeral, a confirmation course? Is a consumer orientation making the church organisation more true to its identity and mission – or is it the opposite? What are the advantages and risks of applying economic theory when analyzing the church? How has the Church of Sweden’s organisation during last been internally affected by neoliberal market “ideology” and New public management ideas?
Associate professor Elisabeth Tveito Johnsen, University of Oslo, will present research on congregations in Church of Norway where the number of participants increase. How do church personnel think about themselves and their congregations? Do church staff and volunteers view themselves as situated in a ‘market’? Do they understand their Sunday-services, and other activities, as ‘products’? Are members, and potential members, approached as ‘costumers’? Do they purposefully engage in practices generally considered as marketing?