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Mediatizing Secular State

Media, Religion and Politics in Contemporary Poland


Damian Guzek

The book provides an empirically based analysis of changes on how various political and denominational actors seek to influence the Church and state relationship, as well as how we understand the idea of the secular state. A set of case studies shows how and why changes in the coverage of the secular state and Church-state relations have followed the dynamics of media logic. By establishing a grounded theory based on media content, legal regulations and political party programs in the years 1989–2015 as well as a current survey, the author throws new light on the theory of mediatization. The book demonstrates that the disseminated idea of the secular state is largely a result of the adaptation of both political and religious representatives to a dynamically changing media logic.

 "The book is the first study of this kind showing the Polish perspective. It is an interesting and important source of information for those who want to trace the media picture of relations between the Polish state and the institution of the Roman Catholic Church, representing the largest religious community in Poland."

Professor Dorota Piontek, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań

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6 On the way to the secular state


Everything that has been presented to the reader about this research on media so far comes down to the frequency of the set categories. We will now refer to the grounded theory and “go beyond previously established categories” (Tucker-McLaughlin & Campbell, 2012: 7) to take an in-depth look at media contents in order to give it meaning. The analysis allows us to more dynamically view the process of the mediatization of a secular state.

6.1 The secular state and Church-state relationship: A qualitative overview

When we take a look at the Church-state relationship in media coverage, frequency itself does not reflect its complexity. It is worth supporting the earlier quantitative content analysis with qualitative data from the media content, supplemented with the analysis of denominational law and electoral documents of various political parties.

We also used the Atlas.ti software in this part of the media analysis, starting with pre-coding the results of 214 codes and 268 notes supplementing the codes. Then, in the course of concentrated and selective coding, we worked through the initial codes. From material integrated with the results of quantitative media analysis, legal documents, and electoral programs, we selected some conceptual themes, meaning ten axial categories, to which we attributed a primary role in the process under investigation. They need a brief description.

(I) Actions regarding the concordat. The basic place of revealing the representation of the secular state and the Church-state relationship is a long-standing debate...

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