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Ethnic Church Meets MegachurchIndian American Christianity in Motion$
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Prema A. Kurien

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781479804757

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479804757.001.0001

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Class, Culture, and the Performance of Gendered Christianity

Class, Culture, and the Performance of Gendered Christianity

(p.143) 4 Class, Culture, and the Performance of Gendered Christianity
Ethnic Church Meets Megachurch

Prema A. Kurien

NYU Press

Gender norms were another source of tension. First- and second-generation Mar Thoma Americans had divergent ideas about the obligations and behavior of Christian men and women in church, and the gender norms and behavior of professionally educated immigrants also differed from those of less well-educated members. Changes in gender roles and class position as a result of the migration and settlement often roused gender insecurities that were manifested within the arena of the church. Chapter 4 focuses on how three groups within the Mar Thoma church: immigrant nurses, who were often the primary income earners in their families, and their husbands; professionally educated immigrant men, who were generally the primary income earners, and their wives; and well-employed second-generation women and men influenced by American evangelicalism, performed gender and normative Christian identities in very different ways in church, leading to some tension between the groups.

Keywords:   gender norms, class position, American evangelicalism, immigrant nurses, professionally educated immigrants, normative Christian identities, performing gender, migration and settlement

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