RELIGIOUS AMBIVALENCE AND THE PROBLEM OF AGENCY : A Qualitative Study on Cognitive Dissonance among Mormon Feminists
Sammanfattning: The scholarly field of traditionally religious women has during the last decade gone from a so called “paradox-approach” which identifies women’s agency with the capacity of acting autonomously – something most clearly demonstrated through acts of resistance – to a nonparadox approach defining agency as a continuum encompassing both resistance to and compliance with traditionally religious structures. While the latter approach assumes that women’s participation in traditional religions is not necessarily a paradox – mainly because some women value religious submission – this thesis argues that the paradox of women and religion becomes essential when speaking about religious feminism. This has proven particularly evident in this study’s Grounded theory approach to blog posts written by Mormon feminists. By combining theories on cognitive dissonance with religious ambivalence this thesis finds that Mormon feminist bloggers express an agency of virtuous ambivalence where they perceive the relationship between their faith and their feminism as dissonant but simultaneously describe this as an ambivalence of religious virtue which bestow upon them a sense of freedom, authenticity and creative potential.
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