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The Study of Children in ReligionsA Methods Handbook$
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Susan B. Ridgely

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814776469

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814776469.001.0001

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Boundary and Identity Work among Hare Krishna Children

Boundary and Identity Work among Hare Krishna Children

(p.95) 6 Boundary and Identity Work among Hare Krishna Children
The Study of Children in Religions

E. Burke Rochford

NYU Press

This chapter considers issues of culture, group boundaries, and identity among young children growing up in the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), more commonly known as the Hare Krishna movement, in order to understand the challenges as well as the rewards associated with studying children in contexts where a researcher must cross religious boundaries. Empirically, this study considers two types of boundary work. The first involves identity work and strategies of boundary bridging meant to establish the researcher as a devotee and thus part of their community. The second entails interactions between the boys and members of the general public that represent boundary-crossing and boundary-maintenance situations distinguishing a Krishna identity from those of outsiders. Such events are critically important to forming the collective identities of children growing up in unconventional religions.

Keywords:   International Society for Krishna Consciousness, ISKCON, Hare Krishna movement, Krishna identity, group boundaries, boundary bridging, boundary crossing, boundary maintenance

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