Book: Key Categories in the Study of Religion
Chapter: 20. Who’s Afraid of Class Analysis? Rethinking Identity and Class in the Study of Religion
While Suzanne Owen’s analysis of neopaganism in the UK is illuminating, this chapter argues that it should not be considered class analysis in any meaningful way. She applies Gramsci’s conceptions of hegemony and consent to explain the struggles of neopagan communities for state recognition in the UK. However, in repurposing these concepts, Owen fundamentally changes them by imposing them on a set of social relations—religious discrimination and marginalization—quite distinct from Gramsci’s critique of class exploitation. This response contends that scholars must attend to the distinctions between these categories and considers a more fully developed sense of class analysis.