Article Title

Religion and the Politics of Sexuality

Type of Work

Article

Date

2001

Journal Title

Journal of Contemporary Ethnography

Journal ISSN

0891-2416

Journal Volume

30

Journal Issue

1

First Page

3

Last Page

55

DOI

10.1177/089124101030001001

Abstract

Using data from open-ended interviews with religious leaders in three Chicago neighborhoods in combination with demographic and survey data for area residents, this article demonstrates how local sexual norms and practices shape congregational responses to sexuality issues. These data reveal that local norms about sexual behavior and identity, and congregational identities and histories, are usually more salient than polity, official teaching, or denominational affiliation. The authors describe how local cultures, structures, and concerns—from the identities and traditions of each congregation to the demographics and institutional infrastructure of each neighborhood—produce sometimes reinforcing and often cross-cutting pressures that drive congregational approaches to human sexuality.

Hamilton Areas of Study

Sociology

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