Institutional gender negotiations within Irish Mormon congregatIons

Authored by: Hazel O’Brien

The Routledge Handbook of Mormonism and Gender

Print publication date:  May  2020
Online publication date:  April  2020

Print ISBN: 9780815395218
eBook ISBN: 9781351181600
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter demonstrates that as with all aspects of identity, gender in Mormonism cannot be understood in isolation, but must be understood in relation to the wider society of which Mormon members also belong. Informed by ethnographic fieldwork with Irish congregations, this chapter identifies that Irish gendered Mormonism is locally negotiated and contested within both a traditional Mormon doctrinal framework, and within a rapidly liberalizing and progressive society. By analyzing how gender is experienced within local congregations at a grassroots level, we can observe the negotiation of this particular juxtaposition. This chapter will firstly provide a broad overview of gendered Mormonism in an Irish context, which emphasizes the transformation of Ireland from Catholic-controlled state to liberal nation, and the place of Mormonism within this shift. It then moves to consider how gender is theorized by Irish Mormon adherents who negotiate between “church culture” and other cultural influences. The chapter then explores how Irish Mormons experience their gendered identities within their congregations, arguing that Irish Mormon congregations become sites where the commonalities and differences between two gender frames collide.

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