I coachingland - på spaning efter den inre potentialen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article examines the expansive commercialization of various neospiritual and pseudoscientific practices currently mobilized in late modern Swedish pursuits of identity, meaning, and health. The focus is on the emergence and marketing of new entrepreneurs who have established themselves as “coaches” promoting personal development, and how they organize their own systems of education and certification. Publicly financed institutions at local, regional, and federal levels increasingly purchase such services for the benefit of their clients and personnel. The recent Swedish surge in unemployment, for instance, will be met by huge public investments in personal “coaching” for the unemployed. The article mainly focus on how coaching practices are introduced and applied in Swedish society, how they cater to individual pursuits of meaning, and how they contribute to socially acceptable expressions of discontent. Finally, a discussion is rised about which kinds of therapeutic messages and understandings are emancipatory for individual clients, and which merely serve to defuse social discontent.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History of Religions


  • New spirituality, inner potential, coaching, therapy, commodification of new ritual practices
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalChaos. Dansk-norsk tidsskrift for religionhistoriske studier
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (015017000)