Journal Article

Catholic Women Negotiate Feminism: A Research Note

Elaine Howard Ecklund

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 64, issue 4, pages 515-524
Published in print January 2003 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2003 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI:
Catholic Women Negotiate Feminism: A Research Note

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For women who identify as both committed Catholics and feminists, how do they negotiate between these two apparently contradictory identities? I use data from one congregation and propose three possibilities for such negotiation. Women reinterpret feminism in light of Catholicism, re-interpret Catholicism in light of feminism, or see both feminism and Catholicism as very subjective and individual identities. This work has implications for how scholars of gender understand the place of feminism in the lives of traditional religious women. This study also expands the sociology of religion literature by broadening how individualism is understood in the context of congregational participation.

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Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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