van de Kamp, “Love Therapy”

January 15, 2013

van de Kamp, Linda.  2012.  Love Therapy: A Brazilian Pentecostal (Dis)connection in Maputo.  In, The Social Life of Connectivity in Africa, Rijk van Dijk and Mirjam de Brujin, eds.  p. 203-226.  New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

Excerpt: “This chapter examines this public training of the body in ways of love, such as embracing and kissing, in relation to the changing practices of love an dnew gender roles in Maputo.  I examine Brazilian Pentecostal counseling sessions on love and sexuality as a set of ‘connecting techniques’ where the terapia do amor serves as a key example.  In line with the arguments running through this current volume, connecting techniques are specific forms of linking that people consider to open up new life options, such as the invention of new bodily modes  and relationships.  In the case of the therapy, the connecting techniques have two important meanings.  First, the value of the Brazilian Pentecostal connections for Mozambican urban women is intrinsically related to its transnational aspects.  The transnational Pentecostal bridge allows for disconnecting from existing forms of relating and learning about alternative ways of being and relating.  Second, it appears that the embodiment of specific constructs, tools, or techniques (Foucault 1988) produces love and successful relations.  To connect to alternative forms of love and marriage and to disconnect from older ones, the body plays a central role in realizing connections and effectuating sociocultural change.  The last part of this chapter describes how the new modes of bridging and bonding through the embodiment of Brazilian Pentecostal techniques are also leading to insecure feelings and relationships” (p. 204).

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