Making Market Women

Gender, Religion, and Work in Ecuador

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Jill DeTemple
  • Notre Dame, IN: 
    University of Notre Dame Press
    , March
     212 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


Making Market Women tells of the initial success and failure of a liberationist Catholic women’s cooperative in central Ecuador. Jill DeTemple argues that when gender and religious identities are capitalized, they are made vulnerable. Using archival and ethnographic methods, she shares the story of the women involved in the cooperative, producing cheese and knitted goods for local markets, and places their stories in the larger context of both the cooperative and the community. DeTemple explores the impact of gender roles, the perception of women, the growing middle class, and the changing mode of Catholicism in their community. Although the initial success of the cooperative may have been due to the group’s cohesion and Catholic identity, the ultimate failure of the enterprise left many women less secure in these ties. They keep their Catholic identity but blame the institutional church in some ways for the failure and are less confident in their ability as women to compete successfully in market economies. Because DeTemple examines not only the effects of gender and religion on development but also the effects of development, successful or unsuccessful, on the identities of those involved, this book will interest scholars of international development, religious studies, Latin American studies, anthropology, and women’s studies.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Jill DeTemple is associate professor of religious studies at Southern Methodist University. She is the author of Cement, Earthworms, and Cheese Factories: Religion and Community Development in Rural Ecuador (University of Notre Dame Press, 2012).


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