Restoring femininity through religious symbols after breast cancer: The case of the Polish Amazonki
SourceJournal of Gender Studies, 24, 6, (2015), pp. 660-676
Article / Letter to editor
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FSW_Institute for Gender Studies (IGS)
SW OZ RSCR CAOS
Journal of Gender Studies
SubjectAnthropology and Development Studies; Institute for Gender Studies
Breast cancer operations have a great impact on women, not only on their bodies but also on their sense of self as women and mothers, and their sexuality. This paper analyses the ways in which a Polish breast cancer support group called Amazonki deals with this, and offers alternative models of femininity. In particular we will analyse the religious symbols and practices related to the Catholic Holy Mary and to the pilgrimage to Polands major religious shrine, that of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa, and their meaning in terms of gender identity. It is argued that through these religious symbols and practices, as well as in the related discussion in their magazine, opposing and at times seemingly conflicting models of femininity are combined and reconciled, but also renegotiated with other social actors.
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