Religion and Nationality – Framing Analysis

Secularisation Thesis

This is the idea that as a country develops scientifically and technologically, religion declines. However, there are very few examples that actually fit, the USA doesn’t for instance. Western Europe most obviously ‘secular’ but still has areas of high religious affiliation. There are emerging spiritualities too with the idea that science doesn’t have all the answers.

The Situation

  • 63% of people polled worldwide say they are religious.
  • China is the least religious country with twice the amount of convinced atheists than any other nation.


Religion and National Identity

State Religion – the religion is officially sanctioned by the state. Example – England.

Theocracy – states governed with ‘God’ as the highest authority. Example – Vatican City.

Secular State – formal separation of religion and state. Example – USA.

The two, religion and nationality, intertwine within cultures, customs, laws, holidays, symbols and locations.

Framing Analysis

This is the idea that we organise the world through ‘frameworks’ of understanding. Frames are context-specific. We think of them as ways of selecting, organising and understanding. Frames may represent worldviews of a particular group, of the people that did the framing. Frames highlight some aspects and thus make these prominent, and render others invisible.


‘Production and reception are not only affected by individual differences, but also by social and cultural contexts, structural divisions and power constellations. ‘Frames’ are part of a collective struggle over meaning that takes place through a multiplicity of media and interpersonal communication; draws from a range of resources’ (Vliegenthart and Van Zoonen 2011: 112)


Often, beliefs and religious/spiritual practises can be unusual to those who don’t practice them. They can seem exotic and interesting.

Many TV shows about religion and nationality other the people they’re talking about.

Religion as a Social Problem

Since 9/11, religion is often portrayed as a site of global problems. It is often mixed with issues of national identity, territory, gender, sexuality, terrorism and more.

Islam is most commonly associated with terrorism and violence.

These notes are from my year two semester one lectures and seminars, as is the second photo.
The first photo is from:

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