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Faith, Family, and Filipino American Community Lifeby Stephen M. Cherry
Synopses & Reviews
In the Afro-Cuban Lukumi religious traditionandmdash;more commonly known in the United States as Santerandiacute;aandmdash;entrants into the priesthood undergo an extraordinary fifty-three-week initiation period. During this time, these novicesandmdash;called iyawoandmdash;endure a host of prohibitions, including most notably wearing exclusively white clothing.and#160;Inand#160;A Year in White, sociologist C. Lynn Carr, who underwent this initiation herself, opens a window on this remarkable year-long religious transformation.
In her intimate investigation of the andldquo;year in white,andrdquo; Carr draws on fifty-two in-depth interviews with other participants, an online survey of nearly two hundred others, and almost a decade of her own ethnographic fieldwork, gathering stories that allow us to see how cultural newcomers and natives thought, felt, and acted with regard to their initiation. She documents how, during the iyawo year, the ritual slowly transforms the initiateandrsquo;s identity. For the first three months, for instance, the iyawo may not use a mirror, even to shave, and must eat all meals while seated on a mat on the floor using only a spoon and their own set of dishes. During the entire year, the iyawo loses their name and is simply addressed as andldquo;iyawoandrdquo; by family and friends.
Carr also shows that this year-long religious ritualandmdash;which is carried out even as the iyawo goes about daily lifeandmdash;offers new insight into religion in general, suggesting that the sacred is not separable from the profane and indeed that religion shares an ongoing dynamic relationship with the realities of everyday life. Religious expression happens at home, on the streets, at work and school.
Offering insight not only into Santerandiacute;a but also into religion more generally, A Year in White makes an important contribution to our understanding of complex, dynamic religious landscapes in multicultural, pluralist societies and how they inhabit our daily lives.
This ground-breaking book draws upon a rich set of ethnographic and survey data, collected over a six-year period, to explore the roles that Catholicism and family play in shaping Filipino American community life. It illustrates the powerful ways these forces structure and animate not only how first-generation Filipino Americans think and feel about their community, but how they are compelled to engage it over issues deemed important to the sanctity of the family.
Inand#160;Walking on the Wild Side,and#160;sociologist Kristi M. Fondrenand#160;traces the stories of forty-six men and women who set out to trek Americaandrsquo;s most well known long-distance hiking trail. The volume illuminates the intense social intimacy and bonding that forms among long-distance hikers as they collectively construct a long-distance hiker identity, revealing how important a sense of place can be to our identity.
In Santerandiacute;a, entrants into the priesthood undergo an extraordinary fifty-three-week initiation period. Inand#160;A Year in White, sociologist C. Lynn Carrandmdash;who underwent this initiation herselfandmdash;offers a wealth of insight into this remarkable year-long religious transformation. Carr draws on in-depth interviews, many online surveys, and nearly a decade of her own ethnographic fieldwork, shedding light not only on Santerandiacute;a, but on religion in general.
Second-generation Korean Americans, demonstrating an unparalleled entrepreneurial fervor, are establishing new churches with a goal of shaping the future of American Christianity. A Faith of Our Own investigates the development and growth of these houses of worship, a recent and rapidly increasing phenomenon in major cities throughout the United States. Including data gathered over ten years at twenty-two churches, it is the most comprehensive study of this topic that addresses generational, identity, political, racial, and empowerment issues
The most famous long-distance hiking trail in North America, the 2,181-mile Appalachian Trailandmdash;the longest hiking-only footpath in the worldandmdash;runs along the Appalachian mountain range from Georgia to Maine. Every year about 2,000 individuals attempt to andldquo;thru-hikeandrdquo; the entire trail, a feat equivalent to hiking Mount Everest sixteen times. Inand#160;Walking on the Wild Side,and#160;sociologist Kristi M. Fondrenand#160;traces the stories of forty-six men and women who, for their own personal reasons, set out to conquer Americaandrsquo;s most well known, and arguably most social, long-distance hiking trail.
In this fascinating in-depth study, Fondren shows how, once out on the trail, this unique subculture of hikers lives mostly in isolation, with their own way of acting, talking, and thinking; their own vocabulary; their own activities and interests; and their own conception of what is significant in life. They tend to be self-disciplined, have an unwavering trust in complete strangers, embrace a life of poverty, and reject modern-day institutions. The volume illuminates the intense social intimacy and bonding that forms among long-distance hikers as they collectively construct a long-distance hiker identity. Fondren describes how long-distance hikers develop a trail persona, underscoring how important a sense of place can be to our identity, and to our sense of who we are. Indeed, the author adds a new dimension to our understanding of the nature of identity in general.
Anyone who has hikedandmdash;or has ever dreamed of hikingandmdash;the Appalachian Trail will find this volume fascinating. Walking on the Wild Side captures a community for whom the trail is a sacred place, a place to which they have become attached, socially, emotionally, and spiritually.
Stephen M. Cherry draws upon a rich set of ethnographic and survey data, collected over a six-year period, to explore the roles that Catholicism and family play in shaping Filipino American community life. From the planning and construction of community centers, to volunteering at health fairs or protesting against abortion, this book illustrates the powerful ways these forces structure and animate not only how first-generation Filipino Americans think and feel about their community, but how they are compelled to engage it over issues deemed important to the sanctity of the family.
Revealing more than intimate accounts of Filipino American lives, Cherry offers a glimpse of the often hidden but vital relationship between religion and community in the lives of new immigrants, and allows speculation on the broader impact of Filipino immigration on the nation. The Filipino American community is the second-largest immigrant community in the United States, and the Philippines is the second-largest source of Catholic immigration to this country. This ground-breaking study outlines how first-generation Filipino Americans have the potential to reshape American Catholicism and are already having an impact on American civic life through the engagement of their faith.
About the Author
KRISTI M. FONDREN is an associate professor of sociology at Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia.
Table of Contents
1. Faithfully Filipino and American
2. Catholic Culture and Filipino Families
3. Community of Communities
4. Communities in Conflict
5. Building Centers of Community
6. Caring for Community
7. Protecting Family and Life
8. Growing Presence and Potential Impacts
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History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Asian American