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The Corpus Christi Devotion

Gender, Liturgy, and Authority among Dominican Nuns in Castile in the Middle Ages

Mercedes Pérez Vidal

in the empowering of these aristocratic women, not only through the commission of works of art, but also through the liturgical performance and the use of monastic spaces. However, all these were also highly contested areas between the nuns and male

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Capacity Building as Instrument and Empowerment

Training Health Workers for Community-Based Roles in Ghana

Harriet Boulding

rights and empowerment aspects of capacity building exercises are lost, and the role of the health worker is narrowly delineated in terms of the technical services they provide to their communities. A principal question that arises from this perspective

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Kaoru Miyazawa

individual girls exercise their freedom to choose. At the same time, it brings a paradox into their lives. Girls may feel that they are empowered as they envision their own success and make a commitment to attain it. However, in reality, their choices are not

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Elizabeth S. Leet

image that, like physical evidence, will resolve her lover’s legal troubles. The intersection between empowerment and objectification inherent in this portrait of the gaze characterizes every text in the Lanval corpus. Descriptions of each fairy

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Empowerment

The Core of Social Quality

Peter Herrmann

Fundamentally, the Social Quality Approach (SQA) takes up a topic that runs like a thread through philosophy and social science, namely the tensions between two fields. The one field stretches between ‘individual and society’, the other stretches between ‘institutions and communities’. What the present approach distinguishes from these two is that it seriously goes beyond delivering a new interpretation of the world, aiming instead on delivering a – theoretically founded – instrument for political action. However, political action here aims on dealing with the fundamental challenge of a society as an integrated system, being based on the objective and subjective dimensions of socially acting individuals. To speak of ‘socially acting individuals’ means to acknowledge the interdependency of acting individuals, their independence and at the same time the dependence of the individuals from a society which they shape through their own action.

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Anne Fairweather, Borut Rončević, Maj Rydbjerg, Marie Valentová and Mojca Zajc

Social quality was first conceptualised and developed in the book ‘The Social Quality of Europe’ (Beck et al, 1997). This book, through a series of articles, develops the background to the concept and then produces a theoretical framework of social quality. Finally it critically assesses the possibilities for and problems with the concept. In the present paper, we first look at the concept of social quality itself. We then go on to examine the four components of social quality: socio-economic security, social inclusion, social cohesion and empowerment. In each section on individual components the general conceptualisation of this component is discussed, and this is followed by a discussion of how it fits into the social quality quadrant. A number of issues are then identified, that will require further research.

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Girltopia

Girl Scouts and the Leadership Development of Girls

Angela High-Pippert

Girl Scouts of the USA is the largest organization for girls in the world, with 2.8 million members and more than 50 million American women as alumnae since the first troop was organized in 1912. Although the organization's mission statement has evolved over the years, Girl Scouts has always been focused on training girls to be responsible and resourceful citizens, and, for the past ten years, there has been a renewed focus on leadership development and the empowerment of girls. Through content analysis of the National Leadership Journey books for each program level of Girl Scouting, I explore three specific themes that are emphasized in this new curriculum. Since National Leadership Journey books are now part of the Girl Scout experience from elementary to high school, these messages concerning leadership development could have an impact on millions of girls across the United States.

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Empowering or impoverishing through credit

Small-scale producers and the Plan Chontalpa in Tabasco, Mexico

Gisela Lanzas and Matthew Whittle

, in my case it was not mismanagement, I had to get rid of the land for my family’s needs.) —Jesús, 1 sugarcane producer in Plan Chontalpa The introduction of credit is often hailed as a positive development strategy that empowers local producers. Many

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The Precarious Center

Religious Leadership among African Christians

Thomas G. Kirsch

This article addresses a long-standing conundrum in the anthropology of religion concerning the ambiguous status of religious leaders: they are subjects of power in that they are able to exert power over others, yet they are objects of power in that they rely on empowerment through others. Taking African-initiated Pentecostal-charismatic Christianity in Zambia as my example, I argue that church leaders' strategies to stabilize their authority have unintended consequences since these strategies can contribute to the precariousness of their positions. By drawing fundamental distinctions between themselves and members of the laity as regards their own extraordinariness, church leaders raise high expectations about their own capacities that may turn out to be impossible to fulfill. Yet even the opposite strategy of strengthening one's authority by embedding oneself in socio-religious networks can eventually lead to a destabilization of church leaders' authority because it increases their dependence on factors that are beyond their control.

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The Making of Modern Afghanistan

Reconstruction, Transnational Governance and Gender Politics in the New Islamic Republic

Julie Billaud

This article seeks to characterise the nature of the post-Taliban 'reconstruction' project in Afghanistan through an analysis of observations and interviews collected in the Ministry of Women's Affairs (MoWA) in 2007. Based on a case study of a 'gender empowerment' training programme administered by the MoWA and funded by an international aid agency, I underline some intricacies in the relationships that are built in development encounters. I argue that the current efforts to include gender issues in politics are part of a broader cultural project aimed at setting up the conditions of possibility for the creation of a modern Afghan state. I show how reconstruction does not simply consist in the formation of a bureaucratic apparatus based on Western models of liberal democracies but primarily involves cultural and symbolic production.