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From Patañjali to the Gospel of Sweat: Yoga’s Remarkable Transformation into a Multi-Billion Dollar Market

While there has been some work on how social movements lead to the creation of new markets, two aspects remain relatively understudied. First, though some studies have focused on movements that have leveraged moral capital to achieve their aims, few have examined how moral capital is stripped from social and cultural practices associated with value-laden movements in order to commodify them. Second, scholars have tended to focus almost exclusively on particular movements, often at the expense of exploring the influence and potential spillover across parallel movements. We study the dramatic transformation of yoga from a spiritual movement – almost entirely based on meditation and the repudiation of conspicuous consumption and vanity – into a $50 billion lifestyle market thriving on consumerism, fitness, beauty and body image. We identify three distinct mechanisms underpinning this transformation; de-essentialization, selective desacralization and syncretization.

Should you want to attend this talk, please register by sending a message to Thinley Tharchen at: tharchen@em-lyon.com by Tuesday 25 noon. We will order a free sandwich for you (please mention any dietary preference).

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Don’t miss Kamal’s interview, by our fabulous PhDs

Interview by emlyon Ph.D. candidate Muhammad Imran and STORM post-doc Thinley Tharchen.
Camera and editing by STORM post-doc Thinley Tharchen.

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