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Gendering secularization theory.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date06/2008
JournalSocial Compass
Journal number2
Volume55
Number of pages7
Pages187-193
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The author argues that our understanding of secularization can be greatly enhanced by taking gender differences seriously. Whilst existing theories of secularization do a good job of explaining why men disaffiliated from Christianity after the onset of industrialization, they ignore the experience of women-whose experience of modernization was significantly different. Whilst men have been responsible for paid work outside the home, women have been engaged in unpaid care work within the home. Their entrance into the paid labour force since the 1960s has not relieved them of traditional duties of care. It is suggested that we can best understand contemporary women's patterns of religious affiliation and disaffiliation in relation to their working lives, whether embracing domestic employment, or seeking a balance between both forms of labour.