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Tradition and Individualism in Suburbia: An Ethnographic Study of Orthodox Jewish Women

Slavin-Phillips, Rebecca (2016) Tradition and Individualism in Suburbia: An Ethnographic Study of Orthodox Jewish Women. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation is an ethnographic study of Orthodox Jewish women in suburban New Jersey, conducted in 2013-2014. The central goal is to analyze how observant, Jewish women negotiate maintenance of religious tradition and individual choice in suburbia. The dissertation identifies religious pluralism within Orthodox Judaism that can be attributed, in part, to the suburban location. These women reside in the two Central New Jersey communities of East Brunswick and Highland Park and showcases the changes that are occurring in religious practice of the observant Jewish women how their lives reflect the changing nature of contemporary Orthodox Judaism.
The study uses ethnography to examine these women’s sense of piety and how they apply Jewish law in several aspects of their lives. It examines how these women narrate their own backgrounds as Orthodox Jews or, in the case of ba’alot teshuva (newly Orthodox women), their turn to Orthodoxy as adults. It also looks at the role of feminism in their lives, their definitions of modesty, and their creation of a diversified and traditional religious environment.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Slavin-Phillips, Rebeccars109@aol.comRFS21
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairShear, Adamashear@pitt.eduASHEAR
Committee CoChairKranson, RachelKranson@pitt.eduKRANSON
Committee MemberPlotnicov, Leonardlenplot@pitt.eduLENPLOT
Committee MemberOrbach, Alexanderorbach@pitt.eduORBACH
Committee MemberChilson, Clarkchilson@pitt.eduCHILSON
Date: 15 June 2016
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 28 March 2016
Approval Date: 15 June 2016
Submission Date: 5 February 2016
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 220
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Religion (Cooperative Program in the study of)
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Jewish Studies; Religious Studies; Orthodox Jews; Ethnography of Religion; Women and Religion
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2016 16:42
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2021 05:15


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