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The Devil’s PartySatanism in Modernity$
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Per Faxneld and Jesper Aa. Petersen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199779239

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199779239.001.0001

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The Making of Satanic Collective Identities in Poland

The Making of Satanic Collective Identities in Poland

From Mechanic to Organic Solidarity

(p.189) Chapter 9 The Making of Satanic Collective Identities in Poland
The Devil’s Party

Rafal Smoczynski

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the recent developments of modern Satanism in Poland through the lens of post-structural theory. A central thesis is that the collective identities of Satanists, especially online, are formed in dialogue with prevalent public articulations of moral panic. The anti-cult and anti-satanic stereotypes thus form an important symbolic background for identity work, forcing Satanists to define what they are not. This in turn is reflected in the positive ascriptions of Satanism, understood as an adversarial space appropriating well-established ideologies of emancipation and reason in contrast to the transgressions of “anti-Christians”. The chapter further relates these developments to post-foundational theory and asks the question whether this is Satanism at all, and whether the collective identities can be elaborated by turning to theories on new social movements. To discuss this, Durkheim's concept of solidarity is invoked to explain the move from “mechanic” groups espousing LaVey to more heterogeneous “organic” networks of post-Satanism.

Keywords:   Satanism, Poland, cyber-Satanism, anti-cult idiom, satanic identities, discourse analysis, post-foundational theory, Emile Durkheim

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