Case Study of Karaflogka Religious Activities Report Writing – Social Science Assignment Help


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The use of the Internet by religious people and groups can be traced back to the 1980s (Campbell 2005). Since that time, the way religion is discussed and practiced on the web has gone through recurrent transformations. Karaflogka (2002) studied the various typologies of religious activities but has seen her conceptualisations changing over time following changes on the web itself. These changes are due to the fact that cyberspace is no longer the preserve of the computer specialist and it now supports an inclusive (at least for those who can access the hardware) social space. She also distinguishes what she calls religion on cyberspace and religion in cyberspace. ’Religion on cyberspace’ is the information uploaded by any religion, church, individual or organisation, which also exists and can be reached in the off-line world. In this sense the Internet is used as a tool. ’Religion in cyberspace’, or cyber religion, is a religious, spiritual or metaphysical expression which is created and exists exclusively in cyberspace, where it enjoys a considerable degree of ’virtual reality’ (Karaflogka 2002: 285). Employing this distinction, it can be argued that when religions started on the Internet, they tended to be religions on cyberspace as they mainly posted information, calendar of events or even sermons. However, with the democratisation of access to the Internet and the use of its full potential (interactive elements such as forums and social media), religions in cyberspace are emerging and involve the full participation of people such as actively taking part in chat rooms, forums and social media and/or performing rituals online. These religions in cyberspace are a recent phenomenon and, even if they mainly exist and function online, they can nevertheless mobilise a large part of the population.

Many scholars are not working on religion and the internet. For example, a 2015 volume edited by Daniel Enstedt, Goran Larsson, and Enzo Pace included chapters on the online personal narratives of Buddhist nuns, embodiment during virtual Christian rituals, and how the web facilitates conversion to Islam. Research has also start appearing on religious activities in games and virtual worlds like Second Life. Robert Kozinets (2012) has coined the phrase ’netnography’ to describe the conducting of ethnographic fieldwork in the online sphere. While Kozinets developed this approach for business and marketing studies, it is based on social science methods, and has become an important component to studying religion in the digital age.

Considering the analysis as developed above, explore the ways different platforms are used to facilitate (or simulate) religious experiences, share information about religion, and connect believers. In week 3 we will commence organising our approach to online fieldwork or ’netnography’. More information will be provided at following lectures and tutorials.

This report should be based on the proposal you put forward in part A and include the changes and feedback recommended by your tutor.


When doing fieldwork, it is always tempting for someone to report everything that has been observed and/or analysed, but this can lead you to lose the thread of the argument. For this reason, you are recommended to follow a specific theme or sub-analysis area of your choice, which is a thread that will help you to focus your argument. 

Choose up to two of these sub analysis for your observation, or plan one yourself. The following ideas will help you as a guide, but you do not have to use them. 
Choosing an area of sub-analysis that is appropriate to the group you are studying, your own areas of interest, and what you learn from your readings.

  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Aesthetics and imagery
  • Hierarchy and power
  • Interaction
  • Community
  • Identity
  • Emotion
  • Relationship to the secular world

Make sure to consider how the online demonstration of your sub-analysis area compares to how this same theme might manifest in the ’real-world’ version of that religion.

Writing up your research:

Please use the following sub-headings for writing and structuring your essay:

1. The title

A short, descriptive summary of the report – preferably including a mention of the setting and, perhaps, something about the pattern you explain or the explanation you develop. Theories can also be mentioned.

Do NOT use vague titles, like ’Sociology of Religion Field Notes’

2. Statement of the Problem

This is the introduction to your project (and your paper) and your key argument. It is the most important paragraph in your paper. Briefly state what you were trying to understand (e.g. the setting, questions, theories or patterns).

3. Methodology

Describe how you went about doing your research, e.g. what sites did you pick? how many hours did you spend observing? did you participate in any activities, or talk to anyone? how accessible was the information to you as an outsider? did you read any books or articles in helping you develop explanations etc? were there any ethical issues associated with the research? were you surprised by anything you saw, read, or encountered? In other words, try to mention anything about your methodology that may have affected your results.

4. The Patterns

Address the major patterns you become aware of, e.g. modes of communication, language, aesthetics, arguments, supplementing your description with diagrams, tables, and quotations. Be sure to explain how you got the figures for your table in the preceding methodology section or in a footnote to the particular table. Likewise, you can describe a pattern and then give a quotation from your field notes to illustrate what you describe. When quoting from your field notes, indent and single space. When quoting from your field notes, indent and single space. Be sure that you describe each pattern in the text, as well as illustrating (when appropriate) with evidence. 

5. The Explanation.

Refer to the pattern(s) (that you will have described in the preceding section) that you intend to explain and develop your explanation. Document your explanations whenever possible (e.g. with diagrams, tables, or quotes from your field notes).

6. Discussion.

Summarise your findings and discuss how they fit with theories and literature you have read and discussed. What theory best explains what you have observed? How does your evidence back up this explanation? 

Point out the strengths and weaknesses in your research and in your explanations. Suggest what kinds of research are needed to test or further develop your explanations. Always try to briefly discuss how other (alternative or additional) explanations might also be possible.

7. Summary.

In a brief paragraph, summarise the main points of your report.

Assessment Criteria:

Addresses Feedback from Assessment 3 (Research Proposal – Step A):

MUST address the feedback given to the student on Assessment 3. This means you must change your research based on the feedback provided by your tutor on your original proposal.

Answers the question:

The essay should demonstrate your capacity to develop a sociological argument in response to the question. Your material must be relevant to the question and draw on the themes and issues of the subject. Make sure that you identify exactly what the question is asking.

Conceptual Understanding:

Make sure you demonstrate that you understand the central concepts used. You can do this either by giving definitions (do this only with difficult or very important technical words) or by using the concepts in a way that demonstrates that you know what they mean. Make sure you talk about these concepts in tutorials – ask if they mean what you think they mean.


Read and refer to relevant material in the subject outline. Lectures, tutorials and general sociology sources should also guide you to relevant issues and readings. You will need to search the library or the Internet for extra references.

Makes sure that the points you make are relevant and illustrate the argument of your essay.


The essay should be clearly organised so that it develops an argument. If you decide not to follow the structure that has been provided for you within the learning guide, please ensure that you have an introductory paragraph that states the aim of the essay and outlines the structure of the argument. The points made in one paragraph should follow on from the previous paragraph and lead into the next one. You should have a conclusion that summarises your main points.

Fieldwork observation and notes:

Your notes should represent an accurate depiction of your observations including detailed commentary on your area of analysis. The analysis of your observations should be clearly articulated within your written assessment.


Clear expression is an important part of a clear argument. Attention to grammar, syntax and style will assist in clarifying what you are endeavouring to say to the reader. Try reading it aloud or ask someone to read it for you. Spelling and punctuation are also important; you should use spell check regularly.

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