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Making Meaning in Modern Yoga: Methodological Dialogues on Commodification and Contradiction

  • Author / Creator
    Graham, Laura C
  • This study explores the meaning of commodification in modern yoga and finds that commodification often contradicts yoga’s ethical principles. Two different analyses of this phenomenon also produce contradictory accounts. One analysis attempts to understand how practitioners experience commodification, while the other critiques discourse and power relations. Both draw on seven main themes: authenticity, health, openness, balance, service, social good, and access. Practitioners evinced a practice-focus and found commodification positive insofar as it generally supports the themes and increases participation. It was negative, however, when it contradicted them or decreased access. The second analysis argues that through the main themes commodification generally reifies existing power relations, often re-articulates yogic philosophy and practice through western discourses, and can deter people from practicing. The contradictions between the two analyses point toward larger methodological and theoretical issues, however, and can therefore open up a conversation about the always political and partial nature of research.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2012-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3J65S
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Sociology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Kaler, Amy (Sociology)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Heyes, Cressida (Philosophy, Political Science)
    • Hogeveen, Bryan (Sociology)