Espousing Patriarchy: Conciliatory Masculinity and Homosocial Femininity in Religiously Conservative Families Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Drawing on in-depth interviews with individuals in current and former plural Mormon fundamentalist families, I demonstrate how gender is structured relationally in plural marriage, dependent on noncoercive power relations. Men perform a “conciliatory masculinity” based on their position as head of the family that requires constant consensus-building skills and emotional labor to maintain family harmony. This masculinity is shaped in relation to women’s performance of “homosocial femininity” that curbs men’s power by building strong bonds among wives to deflect jealousies and negotiate household duties. I argue for the importance of studying masculinities and femininities together as a relational structure to better understand specific religious and family contexts.

publication date

  • December 2019