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Anita Neudorfer

Sounding Subjects. Modes of Subjectification in the German Salvation and Therapy Market.

The dissertation deals with processes of subjectification of actors in the holistic milieu at the discursive intersection of singing, healing and therapy. Actors and discourses that treat singing as a healing practice and thus stimulate multiple self-thematizations are also those that stylize the self and its (sounding) relationship to itself and the world in the mode of problem-oriented speech.

The qualitative-empirical work is done on the basis of biographical-narrative interviews, participant observations, as well as primary literature, journals, online congresses, and film footage. These sources were analyzed according to principles of grounded theory and evaluated in terms of the empirical double perspective (Bosancic 2018).

The term 'healing' or 'cure', which is often used in the discourse arena, turns out to be a chiffre for an aestheticized-psychic well-being. It neither refers to a medical understanding of (physical) healing nor does it address religious awakening experiences. The focus is rather on an emotional relational healing, in which the subject and its self-relationship, experienced as aestheticized, is central. The problems of the vulnerable self in a late modern society that is perceived as anti-aesthetic, performance-oriented and accelerated, as mentioned by the interlocutors, are not themselves solved or 'healed'. Instead, their reflexive-emotional thematization is already perceived as 'healing'. The self-empowerment to this mode of subjectification, i.e. the adoption of the emotional style (through therapeutic self-narratives and affective enactments of the self) (Illouz 2012) is subsumed under the term 'healing'.


Coordination Erfurt

Dr. Elisabeth Begemann


Coordination Graz

Dr. Anna-Katharina Rieger

Phone:+43 316 380 - +43 (0)316 380 - 2391

Doctoral positions are open for the study year 2023/24. Deadline extended (end of April. For further information on the call see here.

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