Making Market Women
114 pages

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Making Market Women tells of the initial success and failure of a liberationist Catholic women’s cooperative in central Ecuador. Jill DeTemple argues that when gender and religious identities are capitalized, they are made vulnerable. Using archival and ethnographic methods, she shares the story of the women involved in the cooperative, producing cheese and knitted goods for local markets, and places their stories in the larger context of both the cooperative and the community. DeTemple explores the impact of gender roles, the perception of women, the growing middle class, and the changing mode of Catholicism in their community. Although the initial success of the cooperative may have been due to the group’s cohesion and Catholic identity, the ultimate failure of the enterprise left many women less secure in these ties. They keep their Catholic identity but blame the institutional church in some ways for the failure and are less confident in their ability as women to compete successfully in market economies. Because DeTemple examines not only the effects of gender and religion on development but also the effects of development, successful or unsuccessful, on the identities of those involved, this book will interest scholars of international development, religious studies, Latin American studies, anthropology, and women’s studies.



Publié par
Date de parution 30 mars 2020
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780268107475
Langue English

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Jill DeTemple
University of Notre Dame Press
Notre Dame, Indiana
University of Notre Dame Press
Notre Dame, Indiana 46556
Copyright © 2020 by the University of Notre Dame
All Rights Reserved
Published in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: DeTemple, Jill Michelle, author.
Title: Making market women : gender, religion, and work in Ecuador / Jill DeTemple.
Other titles: Gender, religion, and work in Ecuador
Description: Notre Dame, Indiana : University of Notre Dame Press, [2020] | Includes bibliographical references and index.
Identifiers: LCCN 2019054896 (print) | LCCN 2019054897 (ebook) | ISBN 9780268107451 (hardback) | ISBN 9780268107482 (adobe pdf) | ISBN 9780268107475 (epub)
Subjects: LCSH: Women in cooperative societies—Ecuador. | Virgen de las Nubes Cooperative—History. | Catholic women—Ecuador—Chillanes. | Liberation theology—Ecuador—Case studies. | Economic development— Ecuador—Case studies. | Social entrepreneurship—Ecuador—Case studies. | Catholic Church—Ecuador—Chillanes—History. |
Chillanes (Ecuador)—Church history. Classification: LCC HD3424.E38 D48 2020 (print) |
LCC HD3424.E38 (ebook) | DDC 334/.683730986616—dc23
LC record available at
LC ebook record available at
This e-Book was converted from the original source file by a third-party vendor. Readers who notice any formatting, textual, or readability issues are encouraged to contact the publisher at
List of Figures
INTRODUCTION . Blessed Are the Cheese Makers? Catholic Liberation, Social Capital, Women, and Neoliberalism in Contemporary Ecuador
ONE . Why Catholic Women Make Cheese
TWO . Reproducing Women: Gendered Social Capital in Local Contexts
THREE . Marketing the Domestic Church
FOUR . Las Juanes: Charismatic Catholicism, Women, and the Market in Chillanes
FIVE . “We Are Also Outside”: Religious and Gender Identities When Development Fails
CONCLUSION. Virgins in the Clouds
Works Cited
All images by author.
FIGURE 1. Virgen de las Nubes Quesera
FIGURE 2. Baptism and Births, Chillanes, 2008
FIGURE 3. Nestlé Milk Chilling Station, Chillanes, 2009
FIGURE 4. Chillanes Church with Image of Santa Rita, 2015
FIGURE 5. Homework with Saints and a Visiting Virgin
FIGURE 6. Riding to the Wedding
In late June 2012, I watched my kids, Molly and John, run down a long, steep hill in Chillanes’s upper section, arms outstretched, alongside a few other children from town. At five and seven years old, I wrote in my field notes, they were learning to fly. Researching and writing this book has often felt a bit like that exhilarating encounter with gravity: arduous to set up, sometimes uncertain, but often joyful, especially when done in the company of friends.
For the support that made the arduous possible, I am grateful to my home institution, Southern Methodist University (SMU). The University Research Council approved two grants that allowed me to travel and work in Ecuador, and a research leave in 2013 was essential for writing early chapters. My colleagues in the Department of Religious Studies—Bill Barnard, Kate Carté, Mark Chancey, Rick Cogley, Johan Elverskog, Serge Frolov, Shira Lander, Steven Lindquist, and John Lamoreaux—have made academic life joyful, collaborative, and supportive beyond my wildest hopes. Marie Purcell and Meghan Beddingfield, brave enough to sign on with me as their PhD adviser, along with their colleagues in the Graduate Program in Religious Studies, have shown me just how good smart conversations with graduate students are for research and writing. I am also grateful to the many undergraduate students in my Religion, Gender, and Development and other classes who inspire and challenge me every day.
Outside of SMU, I am indebted to the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion. A Pre-Tenure Fellowship funded some of the early research on this project, provided me with an amazing group of peers with whom to share ideas, and reminded me about the importance of space, care, and purpose. Thanks especially to Paul Myhre, Tom Pearson, Joe Favazza, Amy Cottrill, and Kristi Upson-Saia for seeing the potential success in examining failure. This work has also benefited from an Individual Research Grant from the American Academy of Religion to study Catholic missions and a Sam Taylor Fellowship that supported interview transcription. Thank you to the Journal of the American Academy of Religion , where portions of this work first appeared (DeTemple 2013). Also at the American Academy of Religion, my colleagues in the International Development and Religion Group—Matthew Clarke, Christopher Duncanson-Hales, Nathan Loewen, Stephen Plant, and Emma Tomalin—started an enriching conversation that has sharpened my thinking and the emergent field in which it is located. Chad Seales, Heather Curtis, Lucia Hulsether, and the rest of the crew who are interested in humanitarianism broadened that dialogue at just the right time. On the anthropological side, I am grateful for enriching conversations with Laurie Occhipinti, Julie Adkins, and Tara Hefferan, who encouraged this line of inquiry, and me, from early days. In Dallas, my teammates on Limelight and biking companions with the White Rock Roadies and TXU Energy MS Bike Team make sure I don’t spend my entire life inside. The Duxbury Drive Deck Sitting Society—John and Sandi Erspamer, Robin and Robert Shannon, and Beth and Scott Storm—are peerless examples of how neighbors should be. My Friday nights, and my life, are better because of them.
As some of the questions I raise here about participatory development have taken a turn for the dialogic, I am deeply grateful to my working group on the Intellectual Humility and Conviction project. Lauren Barthold, Ian and Margie DeWeeese-Boyd, Jonathan Garlick, and Betsy Hayes helped me think in new, exciting, and collegial ways about the role of cooperation and communication in learning spaces. Thanks also to our colleague and convener on that project, John Sarrouf, extraordinary friend and timely reminderer that great questions change everything. As we enter the next phase of the Listening Revolution, I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Dios le pague to all those in Ecuador who made this book possible and my life rich. In Chillanes, thanks to the Municipio de Chillanes, the Registro Civil, Promoción Humana, the Parroquia de Chillanes, Padre Orlando Peña, Grupo Juan XXIII, and the Diocese of Guaranda for allowing me research access. Will Waters of the Universidad de San Francisco helped me think through issues of gender and development. Un mil gracias to the Lucio family—especially Ligia, Alfaro, and Mercedes—for hosting me, and us. It is a joy to share life with them.
Locally, I’m grateful for the unrelenting support of my family. Molly was fourteen months old when I started research on this book and turned fourteen the day I finished revisions. John proved that being two is not an impediment to helping with international research. My husband, Brian, did all the things anthropology spouses do and more: staying home to work when we traveled, feeding guinea pigs when he joined us, and finding ways to let me get the writing done. I couldn’t ask for more.
Thanks to Eli Bortz for taking an interest in this manuscript and to the reviewers whose comments improved it in ways great and small. I’m also grateful to the production editors at the University of Notre Dame Press for their tireless and exacting work. This book would not be as good, and certainly not as readable, without them.
Finally, thanks to the women of the Cooperativa Feminina Virgen de las Nubes, especially Jesus Galarza, Rosa Galaraza, Julia Guamán, Lucía Alarcón, Narcisa Inca, Cecilia Miño, Josefa Arteaga, Silvia Moyano, Agustina Quinche, Magdalena Estrada, Greys Sanchez, Mercedes Huilca, and Paula Pozo. Their honesty, hard work, dedication, openness, generosity, and commitment have inspired me daily for almost twenty years. This book is for them, with hope.
Blessed Are the Cheese Makers?
Catholic Liberation, Social Capital, Women, and Neoliberalism in Contemporary Ecuador
There have been a great many changes in Ecuador since 1960. Land reform, the discovery and utilization of Amazonian oil reserves, and seven presidents between 1996 and 2007; an economic crisis that led to dollarization in 2000; the privatization of phone service and other national agencies; significant uprisings against the proposed privatization of healthcare and water and the abuse of mineral rights; a serious earthquake in 2016; and a large influx of refugees and immigrants from Colombia and Venezuela, just to name some highlights. In 2018 an estimated 6 percent to 8 percent of the Ecuadorian population lived and worked abroad (INEC 2018). The country has been in the international news for housing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in its embassy in London, as well as for proposing a probreastfeeding resolution at the World Health Organization that was opposed by the United States under the Trump administration. 1
Catholics may feel some sympathy. The Second Vatican Council, liberation theologies, competit

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