Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Everyday Religious Spiritualities: Navigating Inequalities Through Orientations, Interactions, and Reflexivity Public Deposited

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  • The research and analysis presented in this dissertation illustrate how individuals enact lived religion as they seek to navigate social inequalities. The enactment of lived religion involves directing attention towards orientations. I use the term orientations in the sense articulated by Ahmed (2004), to allude to how bodies are situated in space and time and shaped by contact with objects and others. In other words, orientations are about the directions people take that put some things and not others within reach. Examining a lived religion shows the daily directives associated with orientations and how these are used in daily interactions and the ways in which reflexivity (the extent to which individuals practice reflection) shapes practices. Specifically, this dissertation asks the question, how are individuals’ everyday religious and spiritual practices, oriented by, used in interaction, and/or contingent on reflection when it comes to navigating social inequalities? In order to examine this broad question, this dissertation considers three sub-questions, each of which is addressed in a chapter (1) how are religion and spirituality coupled and decoupled on a quotidian basis, and when, how, and for what purposes are they used together?; (2) how are religious and spiritual practices used by individuals to reconcile or navigate everyday inequalities?; (3) how does lived religion work to challenge or reproduce queer sexism at and around work, and with what consequences? The three articles (chapters 2-5 of this dissertation) connect religion and spirituality with cultural and sociological frameworks on orientations, interactions, and reflexivity. Taken together, they offer both a view of the complexities of queer, racialized, and gendered lives, and illustrate the many ways that religion and spirituality can challenge or reproduce power structures such as heteronormativity, racism, and sexism.
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