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Religions 2018, 9(5), 143;

Understanding Compliance in Patriarchal Religions: Mormon Women and the Latter Day Saints Church as a Case Study

Social Science Department, Glendale Community College, 6000 W Olive Ave., Glendale, AZ 85355, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 April 2018 / Revised: 19 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feminisms and the Study of “Religions”)
PDF [288 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]


Defining compliance as acquiescence in situations of inequality, this article explores patterns of compliance to gender traditionalism from the analysis of interviews with Mormon women. Analysis reveals that Mormon women face unique, context-specific mechanisms for stifling resistance to gender traditionalism. Additionally, many of the Mormon women interviewed who do not comply with traditional gender expectations regarding motherhood still accept and defend gender traditionalism. We explain this pattern with a concept that we call ideological compensation, which means that women in gender traditional religions defend gender traditionalism even if they do not live it as a way to compensate for their non-compliance. Finally, we find that some of the women frame their compliance to Mormon gender traditionalism as a statement of resistance against the broader society. We describe this phenomenon with a concept known as subcultural resistance. Overall, this study sheds light on how Mormon women interpret traditional gender expectations and the mechanisms that are put in place to stifle resistance. View Full-Text
Keywords: compliance; gender; subcultural resistance; Mormon compliance; gender; subcultural resistance; Mormon
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Leamaster, R.; Bautista, A. Understanding Compliance in Patriarchal Religions: Mormon Women and the Latter Day Saints Church as a Case Study. Religions 2018, 9, 143.

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