'THE STRENGTH OF SILENCE' - EXCERPTS FROM ANTHROPOLOGICAL STUDIES ON THE GENDER DIMENSION OF ALTERNATIVE SPIRITUALITY
Languages of publication
The paper is based on ethnographic fieldwork among converts from Catholicism to a marginal Hindu-rooted, female dominated new religious movement in Poland, the Brahma Kumaris, and explores the role of silence in the religious practices and everyday lives of its members. It argues that silence is a performative act in reconstruction of the respondents' informants' gender identity and is perceived by them as form of self-valuation. From the perspective of the feminist discourse, particularly Western liberal feminism, as well as within cultural anthropology silence is often interpreted as a lack of power and opposition to speech. But drawing on the respondents' experiences, silence can also be understood as and expression of strength and a means of resistance. The authoress presents the ways how middle class, urban women have resort to silence in their aim to deal better with the problems of everyday life as well as with those of economic and cultural transition, Western-style feminism, and Polish Catholicism.
Publication order reference
CEJSH db identifier