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Maria Charles, University of California, Santa Barbara

Complicating Patriarchy: Gender Beliefs of Muslim Facebook Users in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia
When Apr 26, 2021
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where Online via Zoom
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
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About the Presentation

Western stereotypes depict gender attitudes in the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia in undifferentiated terms – as uniformly traditional and rooted in patriarchal religious culture. Little is known about the region’s actual gender beliefs, how they vary, and how they are influenced by Islam. Based on a new survey of Muslim Facebook users, this study explores variability across and within six countries with respect to female chastity and marital patriarchy, two underresearched gender principles that are highly salient in the region. Rather than moving along a single traditional-to-egalitarian continuum, results show that MENASA gender attitudes are characterized by a multidimensional structure, with different combinations of female chastity and marital patriarchy beliefs forming distinct cultural groups. Effects of religion and gender vary across the two attitudinal dimensions. Piety is associated with stronger support for women’s chastity but not patriarchal control within marriage. Religious absolutism is associated with stronger support for both principles. And while men are more likely than women to favor marital patriarchy, beliefs about chastity do not differ by gender. Results complicate broad-brush depictions of patriarchy in the region and corroborate previous research on the multidimensionality of gender beliefs and the multifaceted influences of Muslim faith.

About the Speaker

Maria Charles

Dr. Charles, UC Santa Barbara, is a Professor of Sociology, Director of the Broom Center for Demography, and faculty affiliate of the Feminist Studies Department. Before arriving at UCSB, Dr. Charles served on the Sociology faculty at UC San Diego, and was a postdoctoral researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.She received a Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford University, and Bachelor’s degrees from UCSB in Environmental Studies and Political Science.  Her research compares inequality patterns and gender beliefs within and across countries. Dr. Charles is particularly interested in understanding the cultural and structural forces that sustain gender disparities in families, educational systems, and labor markets in the United States and around the world.

Note:  Zoom Link for Registration.  Upon registration you will receive an automatically generated email with the direct link for the seminar.

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