Mixed Unions and Women's Religious Conversion: An Inquiry into the Role of Media Language

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 08:30
Oral Presentation
Mara TOGNETTI, Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Milan-Bicocca, Milan, Italy
Alberto MASCENA, University of Milano, Italy
According to some sociological researches, mixed couples enact unique ways of experiencing and practising spirituality, unveiling original encounters between worldviews. Furthermore, sociocultural background beliefs shape gender differences among partners. In Italy, Christian-Muslim weddings are one of the most "contested" type of mixed-union. Increasingly media hype stereotypes these unions, depicting them as a potential danger, constructing a discourse which represents wives' religious conversion as a possible danger. According to that peculiar construction, women would be forced to embrace partners' system of beliefs, often against their will. Through few common stereotypes, these languages describe the role of women as an uncomfortable and disadvantaged position. Media interpret these conversions as the loss of original religious systems in favour of the new threating semantic "world" of the Muslim partner.

The purpose of this contribution is to scrutinize how media contemporary language builds up wives' positioning within Christian-Muslim couples.