Frahm-Arp, “Singleness, Sexuality, and the Dream of Marriage”

December 14, 2012

Frahm-Arp, Maria. 2012. “Singleness, Sexuality, and the Dream of Marriage.” Journal of Religion in Africa 42(4):369-383.

Abstract: In contemporary South Africa the nuclear family, made up of a husband and wife with two or three children living in a suburban area, is considered a social ideal and symbol of social and economic success. In Pentecostal Charismatic Churches the nuclear family is also held up as a symbol of success and as a sign of spiritual favour and blessing. Yet many young professional women who are members of Pentecostal Charismatic Churches struggle to find suitable husbands and marry. This paper examines why these women encounter these difficulties and how the Pentecostal Charismatic Churches in this study are opening up new social spaces in which singleness is an acceptable social state. In so doing the paper shows the complex relationship between weddings, sexuality, and economics in the life of young upwardly mobile Pentecostal Charismatic Christians.

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