Marginalized Experiences of Hispanic Females in Youth-Based Religious Groups

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Abstract:

As part of a larger ethnographic study on the role of religion in the lives of youth in the United States, data collected through fieldwork at Protestant evangelical ministries in the Chicago area show an emerging pattern of marginalized experiences for “at-risk” teenaged and college-aged Hispanic females who are involved in youth-based religious groups and activities. We suggest a contradiction emerging from our findings: churches desire to save youth from risky behaviors, thus accommodating their ministries to meet the needs of the at-risk youths; yet, the churches simultaneously promote traditional gender roles that foster feelings of oppression. This forces the young women into a difficult position: conform and maintain the connectedness to the ministry, or resist the traditional expectations and forfeit what a youth group provides to at-risk youth.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5906.2006.00302.x

Affiliations: 1: Janet S. Armitage is Assistant Professor of Sociology at St. Mary's University, Department of Sociology, Charles Francis Hall 205, One Camino Santa Maria, San Antonio, TX 78228-8579., Email: jarmitage1@stmarytx.edu 2: Rhonda E. Dugan is Assistant Professor of Sociology at California State University–Bakersfield, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Dorothy Donohoe Hall AA209, 9001 Stockdale Highway, Bakersfield, CA 93311-1099., Email: rdugan2@csub.edu

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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