A femininity that ‘giveth and taketh away’: The prosperity gospel and postfeminism in the neoliberal economy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article explores how postfeminist and prosperity gospel discourses intersect in an organizational context to produce a particular ideal of feminine subjectivity that reproduces a neoliberal agenda. We focus on narratives written by female national vice presidents in a multi-national network marketing organization headquartered in America. Network marketing tends to attract a vast number of women who are enticed by grand messages of material and spiritual riches; however, such messages are often at odds with the precarious and uncertain working conditions. We contribute to gender and organization scholarship by introducing the concept of evangelical entrepreneurial femininity to explore the tensions and demands that are placed on women in an organizational context where postfeminism and prosperity gospel discourses intersect. In doing so, we question the expectations and constraints that many working women negotiate in this neoliberal age of alleged ‘freedom’ and ‘equality’, and raise a number of concerns for feminist critique.

Details

Authors
  • Katie Sullivan
  • Helen Delaney
Organisations
External organisations
  • University of Auckland
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Gender Studies
  • Economics and Business

Keywords

  • discourse, evangelical entrepreneurial femininity, neoliberalism, network marketing, postfeminism, prosperity gospel, women/gender
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)836-859
Number of pages24
JournalHuman Relations
Volume70
Issue number7
Early online date2016 Nov 21
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul 1
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes