Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Women's Status in Eastern NRMs

Sylvia Fuller and John Levi Martin
Review of Religious Research
Vol. 44, No. 4 (Jun., 2003), pp. 354-369
DOI: 10.2307/3512215
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3512215
Page Count: 16
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($9.00)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Women's Status in Eastern NRMs
Preview not available

Abstract

There has been an unresolved debate as to the relative position of women in Eastern religious guru-based groups. While some sociologists see these as groups ideologically committed to traditional gender relations, often exploitative, and highly controlling of female members, others have seen them as pro-female in ideology and organization, and argue that even their emphasis on a traditional feminine role is liberatory. A comparative study of 35 communes from a national sampling frame demonstrates that both sides are right. Compared to other communes, these groups are both traditionalistic in gender ideology, and they tend to empower women. Indeed, these two factors are inseparable: these groups empower women because of their emphasis on traditional femininity and because of the domination of an extremely powerful male leader and the system of control over interpersonal relations he oversees. We find two routes to gender equality--one via norms of gender egalitarianism, and one via rules enforced by a charismatic (male) leader that prevents men from snow-balling initial status advantages they might have into generalized dominance. This has general implications for what constellations of leadership are likely to empower women.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
354
    354
  • Thumbnail: Page 
355
    355
  • Thumbnail: Page 
356
    356
  • Thumbnail: Page 
357
    357
  • Thumbnail: Page 
358
    358
  • Thumbnail: Page 
359
    359
  • Thumbnail: Page 
360
    360
  • Thumbnail: Page 
361
    361
  • Thumbnail: Page 
362
    362
  • Thumbnail: Page 
363
    363
  • Thumbnail: Page 
364
    364
  • Thumbnail: Page 
365
    365
  • Thumbnail: Page 
366
    366
  • Thumbnail: Page 
367
    367
  • Thumbnail: Page 
368
    368
  • Thumbnail: Page 
369
    369