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.
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