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Title: Women of valour : professional women in South African Pentecostal churches
Author: Frahm-Arp, Kaethe Maria
ISNI:       0000 0001 3481 0894
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2006
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Rapid social change has become a hallmark of post-apartheid South Africa and part of this process has been the expansion of a middle class amongst previously disadvantaged people. My thesis contributes to our understanding of this upward mobility by investigating the role of two Pentecostal-Charismatic Christian churches in helping young, professional, previously disadvantaged women (re)shape their identities and negotiate the various networks of social, economic and political power they encounter as they strive towards socio-economic advancement. The thesis details His People and Grace Bible church and gives an explanation of Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity in South Africa. In contrast to Latin American studies it is argued that within both churches there was a masculinization, rather than feminization of Christianity, which was attractive to men and women. Using some of Bourdieu's ideas I have tried to show that a central contribution these churches make in the lives of some of their members is to help them develop various social and cultural capital resources, which they felt they lacked. Through their engagement with these churches women (re)shaped their identities seeing themselves as having a life purpose and the potential to realise it. Their identities as mothers, wives and single women were impacted by the ideal of the nuclear family and wifely submission upheld in both churches and which the women in this study tried to fulfil. By aligning themselves with this ideal women found their faith legitimated distancing themselves from their extended families and the various demands of African cultural practices. Both churches strove to establish a sanitised, modem, African Christianity, which promoted individuality and socio-economic success, and offered an alternative to the hedonistic trends of popular Y culture.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom ; University of the Witwatersrand
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BX Christian Denominations ; HQ The family. Marriage. Woman