Warrior Chicks: Youthful Aging in a Postfeminist Prosperity Discourse

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Abstract:

In a youth‐oriented evangelical congregation where being perceived as “old” might marginalize member involvement and participation, a Hollywood, California congregation's women's ministry, God Chicks, presents aging women as possessing “godly wisdom,” endowing older women with spiritually charged energy, authority, and responsibility for training younger women to live “godly” lives. Ethnographic research and in depth media analysis of the God Chicks ministry reveals a particularly energizing evangelical postfeminist orientation that applies prosperity theology to contemporary challenges of changing women's roles. Specifically, the God Chicks ministry provides “women over forty” with consumer and caretaking strategies for maintaining youthful selves and motivating younger women. A “God Chick” emerges as a compelling, youthful gendered religious identity that expects congregationally committed women to be strong, healthy, and active warriors who fight multiple relational and global humanitarian battles. Overall, this study demonstrates the construction of an innovative postfeminist evangelical identity through the tactical, opportunistic use of theological doctrine by ministry leaders within a particularistic geographic location.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5906.2012.01651.x

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology, The College of William and Mary 2: Department of Sociology, Davidson College

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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