Quaker Studies

Fighting Friends: Mitigated Stigma in the Religious Society of Friends

Quaker Studies (2018), 23, (1), 47–65.

Abstract

In this study of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in the United States, I use interview and observational data to demonstrate that ‘non-peaceful’ or ‘fighting’ Friends experience mitigated stigma within the group. I argue that the use of a variety of meanings of important symbols in the group helps to produce mitigated stigma. At the theoretical level, mitigated stigma is differentiated from full stigma by its often contested nature, its focus on concealable heterodoxy or hetero-praxis, the ambivalence people feel towards it and the group’s attenuated power to enforce it.

Fighting Friends: Mitigated Stigma in the Religious Society of Friends

Abstract

In this study of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in the United States, I use interview and observational data to demonstrate that ‘non-peaceful’ or ‘fighting’ Friends experience mitigated stigma within the group. I argue that the use of a variety of meanings of important symbols in the group helps to produce mitigated stigma. At the theoretical level, mitigated stigma is differentiated from full stigma by its often contested nature, its focus on concealable heterodoxy or hetero-praxis, the ambivalence people feel towards it and the group’s attenuated power to enforce it.

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Dandelion, P., and Collins, P., eds, The Quaker Condition: the sociology of a liberal religion, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008. The Quaker Condition: the sociology of a liberal religion Google Scholar

Davidman, L., Tradition in a Rootless World: women turn to Orthodox Judaism, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991. Tradition in a Rootless World: women turn to Orthodox Judaism Google Scholar

Dillon, M., Catholic Identity: balancing reason, faith, and power, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Catholic Identity: balancing reason, faith, and power Google Scholar

Giddens, A., The Consequences of Modernity, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990. The Consequences of Modernity Google Scholar

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Hammond, P., Religion and Personal Autonomy: the third disestablishment in America, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1992. Religion and Personal Autonomy: the third disestablishment in America Google Scholar

Hart, S., What Does the Lord Require? How American Christians think about economic justice, New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. What Does the Lord Require? How American Christians think about economic justice Google Scholar

Jackson, J. E., ‘Stigma, Liminality, and Chronic Pain: mind-body borderlands’, American Ethnologist 32 (2005), pp. 332–53. Stigma, Liminality, and Chronic Pain: mind-body borderlands American Ethnologist 32 332 53 Google Scholar

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Reay, B., The Quakers and the English Revolution, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1985. The Quakers and the English Revolution Google Scholar

Riessman, Catherine Kohler, ‘Stigma and Everyday Resistance Practices: Childless Women in South India’, Gender and Society 14 (2000), pp. 111–35. Stigma and Everyday Resistance Practices: Childless Women in South India Gender and Society 14 111 35 Google Scholar

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Roof, W. C., and McKinney, W., American Mainline Religion: its changing shape and future, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1987. American Mainline Religion: its changing shape and future Google Scholar

Rothman, David J., The Discovery of the Asylum: social order and disorder in the New Republic, Boston, MA: Little Brown and Company, 1971. The Discovery of the Asylum: social order and disorder in the New Republic Google Scholar

Scheff, T. J., Goffman Unbound! A new paradigm for social science, Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2006. Goffman Unbound! A new paradigm for social science Google Scholar

Stein, A., ‘“As Far as They Knew I Came From France”: stigma, passing, and not speaking about the Holocaust’, Symbolic Interaction 32 (2009), pp. 44–60. “As Far as They Knew I Came From France”: stigma, passing, and not speaking about the Holocaust Symbolic Interaction 32 44 60 Google Scholar

Turner, V. W., The Ritual Process: structure and anti-structure, Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company, 1969. The Ritual Process: structure and anti-structure Google Scholar

Weddle, M. B., Walking in the Way of Peace: Quaker pacifism in the seventeenth century, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. Walking in the Way of Peace: Quaker pacifism in the seventeenth century Google Scholar

Wuthnow, R., After Heaven: spirituality in America Since the 1950s, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998. After Heaven: spirituality in America Since the 1950s Google Scholar

Ablon, J., ‘The “Elephant Man” as “Self” and “Other”: the psychosocial costs of a misdiagnosis’, Social Science and Medicine 40 (1995), pp. 1481–89. The “Elephant Man” as “Self” and “Other”: the psychosocial costs of a misdiagnosis Social Science and Medicine 40 1481 89 Google Scholar

Becker, P., Congregations in Conflict: cultural models of local religious life, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Congregations in Conflict: cultural models of local religious life Google Scholar

Brock, P., Pacifism in the United States, from the colonial era to the First World War, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968. Pacifism in the United States, from the colonial era to the First World War Google Scholar

Brock, P., The Quaker Peace Testimony 1660 to 1914. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1990. The Quaker Peace Testimony 1660 to 1914 Google Scholar

Crocker, J. B., and Steele, C., ‘Social Stigma’, in Gilbert, D. T., Fiske, S. T., and Gardner, L. (eds), The Handbook of Social Psychology, Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill, 4th edn, 1998, pp. 504–53. Social Stigma The Handbook of Social Psychology 504 53 Google Scholar

Dandelion, P., ‘A Sociological Analysis of the Theology of Quakers’. PhD thesis: University of Brighton, 1993. A Sociological Analysis of the Theology of Quakers Google Scholar

Dandelion, P., and Collins, P., eds, The Quaker Condition: the sociology of a liberal religion, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008. The Quaker Condition: the sociology of a liberal religion Google Scholar

Davidman, L., Tradition in a Rootless World: women turn to Orthodox Judaism, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991. Tradition in a Rootless World: women turn to Orthodox Judaism Google Scholar

Dillon, M., Catholic Identity: balancing reason, faith, and power, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Catholic Identity: balancing reason, faith, and power Google Scholar

Giddens, A., The Consequences of Modernity, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990. The Consequences of Modernity Google Scholar

Glaser, B. G., and Strauss, A. L., The Discovery of Grounded Theory: strategies for qualitative research, Chicago: Aldine, 1967. The Discovery of Grounded Theory: strategies for qualitative research Google Scholar

Goffman, E., Stigma: notes on the management of spoiled identity, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1963. Stigma: notes on the management of spoiled identity Google Scholar

Hammond, P., Religion and Personal Autonomy: the third disestablishment in America, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1992. Religion and Personal Autonomy: the third disestablishment in America Google Scholar

Hart, S., What Does the Lord Require? How American Christians think about economic justice, New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. What Does the Lord Require? How American Christians think about economic justice Google Scholar

Jackson, J. E., ‘Stigma, Liminality, and Chronic Pain: mind-body borderlands’, American Ethnologist 32 (2005), pp. 332–53. Stigma, Liminality, and Chronic Pain: mind-body borderlands American Ethnologist 32 332 53 Google Scholar

Jones, E. E., Farina, A., Hastorf, A. H., Markus, H., Miller, D. T., and Scott, R. A., Social Stigma: the psychology of marked relationships, New York: W. H. Freeman and Company, 1984. Social Stigma: the psychology of marked relationships Google Scholar

Kennedy, T. C., British Quakerism, 1860–1920: the transformation of a religious community, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. British Quakerism, 1860–1920: the transformation of a religious community Google Scholar

Knudson-Cooper, M., ‘Adjustment to Visible Stigma: the case of the severely burned’, Social Science and Medicine 15B (1981), pp. 31–44. Adjustment to Visible Stigma: the case of the severely burned Social Science and Medicine 15B 31 44 Google Scholar

Kusow, A. M., ‘Contesting Stigma: on Goffman’s assumptions of normative order’, Symbolic Interaction 27 (2004), pp. 179–97. Contesting Stigma: on Goffman’s assumptions of normative order Symbolic Interaction 27 179 97 Google Scholar

Link, B. G., and Phelan, J. C., ‘Conceptualizing Stigma’, Annual Review of Sociology 27 (2001), pp. 363–85. Conceptualizing Stigma Annual Review of Sociology 27 363 85 Google Scholar

Luckmann, T., ‘The Structural Conditions of Religious Consciousness in Modern Societies’, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 6 (1979), pp. 121–37. The Structural Conditions of Religious Consciousness in Modern Societies Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 6 121 37 Google Scholar

McNamara, P. H., Conscience First, Tradition Second: a study of young American Catholics, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992. Conscience First, Tradition Second: a study of young American Catholics Google Scholar

Reay, B., The Quakers and the English Revolution, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1985. The Quakers and the English Revolution Google Scholar

Riessman, Catherine Kohler, ‘Stigma and Everyday Resistance Practices: Childless Women in South India’, Gender and Society 14 (2000), pp. 111–35. Stigma and Everyday Resistance Practices: Childless Women in South India Gender and Society 14 111 35 Google Scholar

Robson, S., ‘Grasping the Nettle: conflict and the Quaker condition’, in Dandelion, P., and Collins, P. (eds), The Quaker Condition: the sociology of a liberal religion, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008, pp. 140–57. the Nettle: conflict and the Quaker condition The Quaker Condition: the sociology of a liberal religion 140 57 Google Scholar

Roof, W. C., and McKinney, W., American Mainline Religion: its changing shape and future, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1987. American Mainline Religion: its changing shape and future Google Scholar

Rothman, David J., The Discovery of the Asylum: social order and disorder in the New Republic, Boston, MA: Little Brown and Company, 1971. The Discovery of the Asylum: social order and disorder in the New Republic Google Scholar

Scheff, T. J., Goffman Unbound! A new paradigm for social science, Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2006. Goffman Unbound! A new paradigm for social science Google Scholar

Stein, A., ‘“As Far as They Knew I Came From France”: stigma, passing, and not speaking about the Holocaust’, Symbolic Interaction 32 (2009), pp. 44–60. “As Far as They Knew I Came From France”: stigma, passing, and not speaking about the Holocaust Symbolic Interaction 32 44 60 Google Scholar

Turner, V. W., The Ritual Process: structure and anti-structure, Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company, 1969. The Ritual Process: structure and anti-structure Google Scholar

Weddle, M. B., Walking in the Way of Peace: Quaker pacifism in the seventeenth century, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. Walking in the Way of Peace: Quaker pacifism in the seventeenth century Google Scholar

Wuthnow, R., After Heaven: spirituality in America Since the 1950s, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998. After Heaven: spirituality in America Since the 1950s Google Scholar


Details

Author details

Morrissey, Chris