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New Generations of Catholic SistersThe Challenge of Diversity$
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Mary Johnson, Patricia Wittberg, and Mary L. Gautier

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199316847

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199316847.001.0001

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Identity

Identity

Distinguishing Elements

Chapter:
(p.79) Chapter 5 Identity
Source:
New Generations of Catholic Sisters
Author(s):

Mary Johnson

Patricia Wittberg

Mary L. Gautier

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199316847.003.0005

This chapter covers the elements that comprise a religious institute’s identity: demographic characteristics such as its size, median age, location, and international spread; its “charism” or spirit; and specific externals like the wearing of a religious habit. The attraction of intangibles such as an institute’s progressive or traditional reputation and whether the sisters seem welcoming or joyful is also compared across generations. Identity markers are important in drawing boundaries between group members and outsiders; this function is explored for the identity markers cited by the respondents. Generational differences in the importance attached to these identifiers are explored: In each case, the generational cohort to whom a respondent belonged was significant.

Keywords:   generations, Catholic sisters, charism, group identity, boundary maintenance

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