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Oppression or liberation? Moving beyond binaries in religion and gender studies

chapter
posted on 06.01.2022, 10:16 by Line NyhagenLine Nyhagen
Scholarly feminist analyses of the relationship between religion and gender address the ‘oppression- liberation’ dichotomy in various ways, from structural perspectives portraying religious women 2 as individuals who are inevitably subordinated and oppressed by patriarchy ( Jeffreys 2012; Daly 1978) to more agentic approaches insisting that religious women are subjects who exercise some form of agency—also in situations where their behaviour colludes with and reproduces patriarchal norms and gender inequality (Mack 2003; Mahmood 2005; Avishai 2008). Along a continuum from structural to agentic approaches, other scholars argue that religious women can simultaneously inhabit both submissive-pious and liberal-feminist subjectivities ( Jacobsen 2011; Rinaldo 2014; Zion-Waldoks 2015). These latter works demonstrate multiple and intertwined forms of religious women’s agency and complicity that challenge oppositional, categorical understandings of subordination and liberation (Nyhagen & Halsaa 2016). Broadly speaking, structural perspectives focus on how religion as institutional (male) power, authority, resource and discourse imposes, produces and maintains inequalities between women and men. Agentic perspectives, on the other hand, focus on women’s lived experience of religion and religion as embodied, narrated, performed and (co-)constructed by individuals in everyday life.

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Criminology, Sociology and Social Policy

Published in

The Routledge Handbook of Religion, Gender and Society

Pages

n.p.

Publisher

Routledge

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Individual chapters, the authors.

Publisher statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in The Routledge Handbook of Religion, Gender and Society on 31 Dec 2021, available online: http://www.routledge.com/9781138601901.

Publication date

2021-12-31

Copyright date

2021

ISBN

9781138601901; 9781032161402

Book series

Routledge Handbooks in Religion

Language

en

Editor(s)

Caroline Starkey; Emma Tomalin

Depositor

Dr Line Nyhagen. Deposit date: 17 September 2020

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