According to stereotypic beliefs about the sexes, women are more communal (selfless and concerned with others) and less agentic (self-assertive and motivated to master) than men. These beliefs were hypothesized to stem from perceivers' observations of women and men in differing social roles: (a) Women are more likely than men to hold positions of lower status and authority, and (b) women are more likely than men to be homemakers and are less likely to be employed in the paid work force. In 5 experiments, 3,839 women and 850 men, most of whom were university students, each read a description of 1 man or woman and then rated that stimulus person on certain attributes. Exps I and II failed to support the hypothesis that observed sex differences in status underlie belief in female communal qualities and male agentic qualities. Exp III supported the hypothesis that observed sex differences in distribution into homemaker and employee occupational roles account for these beliefs. In this experiment, Ss perceived the average woman and man stereotypically. Female and male homemakers were perceived as high in communion and low in agency. Female and male employees were perceived as low in communion and high in agency, although female employees were perceived as even more agentic than their male counterparts. Exps IV and V examined perceptions that might account for the belief that employed women are especially agentic; freedom of choice about being employed accounted for it reasonably well. (58 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
As archeological research in mainland Southeast Asia progresses beyond the pioneering stage, the emerging data pose a number of challenges to theories of socio-political development. Attempts to apply models assuming nested, conical, hierarchical progressions derivative from the band-tribe-chiefdom-state continuum often seem inadequate and somehow unable to account for the significant socio-political dynamics that are increasingly evident from the data. This chapter proposes that a shift in modeling the region's socio-political trajectory away from a stepprogression, hierarchical approach toward a dynamic, heterarchical approach will advance understanding of this region's distinctive social development and will contribute to broadening and refining theory on the formation of states and the development of social complexity.
In this ambitious and accomplished work, Taussig explores the complex and interwoven concepts of mimesis, the practice of imitation, and alterity, the opposition of Self and Other. The book moves from the nineteenth-century invention of mimetically capacious machines, such as the camera, to the fable of colonial ‘first contact’ and the alleged mimetic power of ‘primitives’. Twenty years after the original publication, Taussig revisits the work in a new preface which contextualises the impact of Mimesis and Alterity. Drawing on the ideas of Benjamin, Adorno and Horckheimer and ethnographic accounts of the Cuna, Taussig demonstrates how the history of mimesis is deeply tied to colonialism and the idea of alterity has become increasingly unstable. Vigorous and unorthodox, this cross-cultural discussion continues to deepen our understanding of the relationship between ethnography, racism and society.
Fieldwork conducted among elderly, Oriental Jewish women living in Jerusalem reveals a religious world centred around guarding over ancestors and descendants. The article identifies and labels the `domestication of religion' as a process in which people who profess their allegiance to a wider religious tradition personalise the rituals, institutions, symbols and theology of that wider system in order to safeguard the well-being of particular individuals with whom they are linked in relationships of care. It is argued that individuals (such as teh Oriental women) who have a great deal invested in interpersonal relationships, and who are excluded from formal power within an institutionalised religious framework, tend to be associated with a personally-oriented religious mode.
* At Play in the Sacred Grove * The Noisome Bog * The Definitional Daisy Chain * The Problem with Supernatural * An Operational Definition of Religion * The Value of Values * Assumptions, Beliefs, and Facts * Exploring Explanation: Why Do People Die? Clerical Orders * What Kind of Shaman Would You Want? Community and Conflict * On the Other Side of the Forest * The Incorporeal Dimension * Divining the Divine * Into the Land of Moriah * A Myth Is as Good * Wondrous Portals * When Worldviews Collide * The Modern Hosts of Heaven
There has been an underlying assumption in much of the research on the Roman Catholic Church in Brazil that activism toward social and religious change is stimulated by the church hierarchy. That assumption is called into question by the present research which examined five dioceses in the northern state of Maranhão. Evidence is presented here to show that, even in dioceses where the bishop is not supportive of innovation, priests, sisters, and lay church workers are organizing base ecclesial communities (CEBs) that help to facilitate the empowerment of poor people. This article also questions the urban bias of much of the research on Brazilian CEBs, the majority of which are located in rural areas, and suggests that further studies need to be conducted in rural base communities in different parts of Latin America.
This paper examines the characteristics of female religious commitment by focusing on conversion to and disaffection from nontraditional religious movements. The seventeen subjects in the study represent a wide variety of religious orientations, ranging from charismatic Christianity to Eastern mysticism, with their commitment varying over time from six weeks to ten years. Data for the study were collected through in-depth interviews that explored the subject's initial involvement with the group, the process of conversion, and the social-psychological aspects of deconversion. The analysis suggests that in religious commitment an economy of love is operationalized in which the commodities of exchange are affection, approval, and intimacy. As such, the male religious hierarchy plays a significant role in the lives of female converts through control over the emotional rewards of religious commitment. Such control often leads to sexual exploitation, abuse, and discrimination, sources of female subordination that are reinforced by the pervasiveness of romantic ideals, expectations of male protection and love which come to dominate the interaction between the female devotee and the male leadership. Through the trauma of rejection, the romantic ideal is ultimately destroyed, creating the conditions under which the devotee begins to perceive an imbalance in the emotional exchange relationship. Because of the sense of violation that many of the women have experienced, they choose to leave the movement rather than to attempt to redress the imbalance through a continued association with the religious group.
Traditionally the self and the individual have been treated as micro-versions of larger social entities by the social sciences in general, and by anthropology in particular. In Self Consciousness, Cohen examines this treatment of the self, arguing that this practice has resulted in the misunderstanding of social aggregates precisely because the individual has been ignored as a constituent element. By acknowledging the individual's self awareness as author of their own social conduct and of the social forms in which they participate, this informs social and cultural processes rather than the individual being passively modelled by them.
For some time, it has been demonstrated that women are more religious than men. Researchers have rarely questioned the validity of this finding. Rather than taking for granted the gender difference, the present study investigated the extent to which one of its underpinnings, a "feminine" gender orientation, accounted for variations in religiousness. The data from a sample of 358 undergraduates indicated that religiousness is influenced more by a "feminine" outlook than by being female. More exploratory analyses also revealed that men's gender orientation predicted religiousness more reliably than did women's. The findings suggest that the visibility of some men's religiousness might have been masked until now by a failure to look beneath men's status for variations within gender.
A leading theorist in the sociology of sex and gender, Miriam Johnson establishes as her starting point the belief that inequality is not inherent or inevitable in heterosexual relations. In "Strong Mothers, Weak Wives" she develops this notion by examining how gender differences get translated into gender inequalities and how this process relates to the structure of the nuclear family and to the social organization of modern societies.
The numerical predominance of women in the role of spirit medium at Umbanda centers is obvious even to the casual observer. But why in a modern nation like Brazil should women continue to fill this traditional role? Drawing on data from fieldwork in Porto Alegre, Brazil, I offer an explanation which combines ethnographic, ernie data with data drawn from labor market surveys defining female participation rates in the modern Brazilian economy. It is suggested here that the traditional popularity of the role of spirit medium with Brazilian women today continues because it emphasizes "feminine" qualities in recruitment and it offers women (and some men) access to "power" and thus offsets the relative powerlessness typical of comparable socioeconomic roles available to them in the modern economy.
In this paper I discuss how women in a Brazilian working-class town choose among the Catholic Church, pentecostalism, and
Afro-Brazilian umbanda when seeking religious help in coping with domestic conflict. I argue that umbanda and pentecostalism, as cults of affliction in which blame for domestic conflict may be safely articulated and projected onto
spiritual Others, limit the possibilities for gossip and increase those of secrecy. They are thus more attractive to women
than is the Catholic Church, which places blame for domestic conflict on human agents and, as a local cult that recruits on
the basis of prior social identity rather than affliction, makes women's efforts to speak about their domestic problems vulnerable
Since the end of the nineteenth century a process of gradual restructuring has taken place within the Brazilian Catholic Church. This has generally been termed "romanization." During this process the ecclesiastical hierarchy has increasingly tried to establish its authority over the religious system and to accommodate local beliefs and practices to Roman Catholic doctrines. In order to achieve this object, new religious associations were set up to function under the strict guidance of a priest. The clergy stimulated principally women to participate in these associations and emphasized their religious responsibility toward family and community. In fact, the Catholic Church was relying mainly on the support of women when propagating its ideals and catechizing the population. In this article I explore what their participation in these religious associations and their compliance with Catholic behavioral standards mean to women themselves.
The role that the Brazilian Catholic Church has played in helping to effect Brazil's transition from military dictatorship
to stable democratic polity has come under considerable scrutiny from a number of sources. Of particular interest to social
scientists and religious leaders alike has been the impact of the Brazilian comunidades eclesiais de base or CEBs (usually translated as “basic Christian communities”), many of which are known to be active in the political sphere.
This article evaluates the CEBs' current role in the democratization process in light of a number of recent interpretations
of their essential nature and thrust. In many respects, the data, drawn from a four-year study of 22 CEBs located in Brazil's
large and dynamic Archdiocese of São Paulo, show the CEBs to be maintaining an effective presence on the Brazilian political
scene. Nevertheless, there is also evidence suggesting that the role of the groups is changing in such a way that the CEBs
per se may fade as bona fide agents of social and political transformation. Such a change, it is held, is attributable to a multitude of factors, not
the least of which are related to qualitative alterations in official Church support for CEB activation.
In spite of feminist recognition that hierarchical organizations are an important location of male dominance, most feminists writing about organizations assume that organizational structure is gender neutral. This article argues that organizational structure is not gender neutral; on the contrary, assumptions about gender underlie the documents and contracts used to construct organizations and to provide the commonsense ground for theorizing about them. Their gendered nature is partly masked through obscuring the embodied nature of work. Abstract jobs and hierarchies, common concepts in organizational thinking, assume a disembodies and universal worker. This worker is actually a man; men's bodies, sexuality, and relationships to procreation and paid work are subsumed in the image of the worker. Images of men's bodies and masculinity pervade organizational processes, marginalizing women and contributing to the maintenance of gender segregation in organizations. The positing of gender-neutral and disembodied organizational structures and work relations is part of the larger strategy of control in industrial capitalist societies, which, at least partly, are built upon a deeply embedded substructure of gender difference.
(from the jacket) The main theme of Pascal Boyer's work is that important aspects of religious representations are constrained by universal properties of the human mind-brain. /// The transmission of religious representations, as Boyer points out, does not occur in a cognitive vacuum. There is growing evidence that human minds are predisposed to acquire certain types of mental representations. In particular, experimental psychology shows that a number of universal, richly structured, early developed conceptual principles organize our understandings of particular aspects of natural and social environments. These representations in turn constrain the range of religious representations humans are likely to acquire, memorize, and transmit. This explains why certain aspects of religious ideas are found in a strikingly similar form in so many different cultural environments. /// (The book) will be widely discussed by cultural anthropologists and psychologists, as well as students of religion, history, and philosophy.
This article examines the ways in which Sicilian Pentecostals enact a gender system in response to a perceived crisis in the prevailing gender order, an order I interpret, following Kenelm Burridge, as a system of “redemption,” conferring a culturally specific form of “integrity.” Pentecostalism, then, is a gender-system-in-the-making, a new calculus of human worth, that combines new structures with aspects of the failing hegemonic system. The result is a more complex, ambiguous patriarchy, one that may be less viable than the hegemonic system, enabling believing women to transcend some of the gender constraints of the prevailing system.