Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2011 Steven J Losco
Edited Abstract for presentation:
Categorizing humans and human activity can be difficult. In my own research on evangelical church styles in Los Angeles, I found that the services defied discreet categories. I turned to the social web for inspiration on how to categorize the services and landed on blog post “tags” as something that could give me a flexible and dynamic way to “define” the church. Briefly, tags are a set of words or phrases that users categorize anything from blog posts, books on GoodReads, website bookmarks, etc, in other words: metadata. What makes tags so potent as definition is the fact they can be both broad and specific at the same time, thus encapsulating the entire phenomenon at all levels and shows how truly unstable over-arching categories are. Tags also show the level to which pastiche or hodge-podge makes up the social world. Relating this back to the church services, ideas of participating and engaging the pastor are part of one tradition and relatable and topical sermons from another and by mixing the two together it creates one type of service that is not defined by either category. But by revealing the service as pastiche, it now solidifies the church’s service into something that is considered an innovative way to do church
Losco, Steven, "”Tag, You’re It!”: Using Social Media “Tags” to Help Solve the Problem of Church Classification in Sociology of Religion" (2011). Pitzer Senior Theses. 129.