The Reformation Of Machismo / Edition 1

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Protestant evangelicalism has spread rapidly in Latin America at the same time that foreign corporations have taken hold of economies there. These concurrent developments have led some observers to view this religious movement as a means of melding converts into a disciplined work force for foreign capitalists rather than as a reflection of conscious individual choices made for a variety of personal, as well as economic, reasons.
In this pioneering study, Elizabeth Brusco challenges such assumptions and explores the intra-household motivations for evangelical conversion in Colombia. She shows how the asceticism required of evangelicals (no drinking, smoking, or extramarital sexual relations are allowed) redirects male income back into the household, thereby raising the living standard of women and children. This benefit helps explain the appeal of evangelicalism for women and questions the traditional assumption that organized religion always disadvantages women.
Brusco also demonstrates how evangelicalism appeals to men by offering an alternative to the more dysfunctional aspects of machismo. Case studies add a fascinating human dimension to her findings.
With the challenges this book poses to conventional wisdom about economic, gender, and religious behavior, it will be important reading for a wide audience in anthropology, women’s studies, economics, and religion. For all students of Latin America, it offers thoughtful new perspectives on a major, grass-roots agent of social change.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292708211
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1995
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
Contradictions in a Feminist View of Evangelical Women 2
More Contradictions: Colombian Evangelicalism and the Anthropology of Religion 3
Research Questions: The Domestication of Men? 5
Data Collection 6
The Different Levels of Meaning in the Conversion Experience 8
Gender Analysis in Conversion Studies 9
Plan of the Study 10
2 The Evangelical Movement in Colombia 12
Early Missions 12
The Contemporary Picture: The Size of the Movement 14
The Meaning of "Evangelical" in Colombia 14
3 Religion and Politics 31
The Power of the Roman Catholic Church in Colombia: The Concordat 32
Constitutional Reform and the Concordat 34
Liberals and Conservatives and the Separation of Church and State 35
La Violencia 37
The Effect of La Violencia on Evangelicals in El Cocuy 40
4 El Cocuy: Colombian Evangelicalism on the Community Level 48
Rural Life in Urban Colombia 48
Choice of El Cocuy as the Rural Field Site 49
Description of the Town 50
Early History of El Cocuy 56
Religion in El Cocuy 58
The Impact of Foreign Missionaries in El Cocuy: The Lutheran Church of Our Savior 64
5 Domestic Abdication, Individualism, and Machismo 77
Defining Machismo: Contradictions and Consistencies 77
Domestic Abdication 82
Psychological Approaches: Machismo and Male Dominance 83
Change over Time 87
Machismo, Proletarianization, and Individualism 89
6 Colombian Sex and Gender Roles and the Family 92
Sex Roles and Familial Roles 93
The Consequences of Machismo for Women's Household Roles 100
Conjugal Roles and Status Consciousness 102
Case History: Rosalinda 107
7 Colombian Evangelicalism from the Household Out 114
Gender Roles and Marital Roles in the Conversion Process 114
The Economic Effects of Gender Role Transformation 123
The Feminine Ethos of Evangelical Religion 129
8 Conclusion 135
Colombian Evangelicalism as a "Strategic" Form of Female Collective Action 135
Progress, Modernization, and Culture Change 141
Women, the Prosperity Ethic, and the Household Writ Large 144
Appendix: Fieldwork with Colombian Evangelicals 147
Notes 167
Bibliography 181
Index 195
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