Feminization of the Clergy in America : Occupational and Organizational Perspectives
Spanning more than 70 years, Nesbitt's study of feminization concentrates on the Episcopal Church and the Unitarian Universalist Association, utilizing both statistical results and interviews to compare occupational patterns prior and subsequent to the large influx of women clergy. Among her findings, the author discovers that a decline in men's opportunities is evident before the 1970s, preceding the great influx of women over the last two decades. She also finds that increases in the number of women ordained reduced occupational prospects for other women, but enhanced those for men, thus contradicting the popular myth that women in the workplace are responsible for occupational decline. Nesbitt also examines career prospects for increasing numbers of second-career clergy, the decline in young men, backlash against the increasing presence of ordained women, overall shifts in how denominations are utilizing clergy, and how women's careers have become disproportionately caught in these changes. Her analysis opens and concludes with an overview of potential change in religious understanding, expression, and tradition that women clergy represent, and the interplay between gender enactment and religious authority to legitimate and maintain dominance in social relations. This provocative work should be of great interest to administrators and clergy in a range of denominations, and will contribute to the sociological study of gender stratification.
- Electronic book text | 296 pages
- 01 Dec 1997
- Oxford University Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
"A significant contribution to the discipline. The author's focus on organizational behavior moves beyond the realm of attitudinal surveys administered at one point in time. Her use of both history and biography is a good illustration of the 'sociological imagination' advocated by the late C. Wright Mills."--Ruth A. Wallace, George Washington University