A FEMINIST ANALYSIS OF THE EFFECTS OF CHANGING SOCIAL STRUCTURES ON THE RELIGIOUS BELIEFS AND PRACTICES OF WOMEN LIVING IN IRELAND AND IRISH FEMALE EMIGRANTS TO AUSTRALIA

Bridget Broadbent (2009). A FEMINIST ANALYSIS OF THE EFFECTS OF CHANGING SOCIAL STRUCTURES ON THE RELIGIOUS BELIEFS AND PRACTICES OF WOMEN LIVING IN IRELAND AND IRISH FEMALE EMIGRANTS TO AUSTRALIA PhD Thesis, School of Social Science, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Bridget Broadbent
Thesis Title A FEMINIST ANALYSIS OF THE EFFECTS OF CHANGING SOCIAL STRUCTURES ON THE RELIGIOUS BELIEFS AND PRACTICES OF WOMEN LIVING IN IRELAND AND IRISH FEMALE EMIGRANTS TO AUSTRALIA
School, Centre or Institute School of Social Science
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2009-03
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Dr. Patricia Short
Total pages 184
Total colour pages none
Total black and white pages 184
Subjects 16 Studies in Human Society
Abstract/Summary Abstract The present study analyses the role of women in the Roman Catholic Church and the main question addressed is: “How do women construct and maintain an adult Catholic identity in the light of social, political, economic and religious changes?” In order to answer this question I began with grounded theory which enabled me to locate my research in the everyday lives of the study participants. In the course of the research I made a methodological shift to an institutional ethnographic approach in order to better understand the women’s lives as Catholics. One of the major tenets of an institutional ethnographic approach is that in modern bureaucratic organisations the authority and instructions of institutions and organisations are carried via the texts they produce. These texts can be written texts or they can be videos, film, etc. Because they carry the authority of the institution or organisation texts have the power to shape people’s lives and co-ordinate their everyday activities with multiple others, without, however, wholly determining them. In common with other major organisations the Roman Catholic Church is a large, worldwide organisation which relies on the texts it produces to carry its instructions and authority into the homes, churches and personal lives of its members. The greatest production of written texts by the Catholic Church in the modern era took place at the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). While many feminist scholars have dismissed the Council proceedings as saying very little about women in particular, I argue that the Councillors’ writings in several major texts have strongly and specifically impacted the lives of contemporary Catholic women. Consequently, while all the texts produced by the bishops at the council can be considered of interest to practising Catholics generally, in this study I have chosen to focus on texts that related to issues that have proved to be of particular interest to the participants of this research study: the role of the laity in the church, Mariology and marriage. In order to carry out the research involved in this study I interviewed thirty women in Australia and thirty women in Ireland between the ages of 55 and 19 years of age. The Australian women immigrated to Australia during the years 1970 and 1997. All of the participants had been baptised into the Roman Catholic Church as babies and they all underwent a similar socialisation process growing up in Ireland.
Keyword Australian, Catholic, Irish, identity, power, Vatican II, ruling relations, laity, Marianism

 
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Created: Thu, 19 Nov 2009, 12:35:52 EST by Mrs Bridget Broadbent on behalf of Library - Information Access Service