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Masculinities, New Forms of Religion, and the Production of Social Order in Kaduna City, Nigeria

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From the late 1970s when serious economic woes hit Nigerians in general and the inhabitants of Kaduna in particular, the latter began to seek explanations for the ills that beset their country and support to deal with them. Some found this in new religious movements, both Christian and Muslim, that rejected earlier sects/denominations as religiously and ethically unacceptable and focused on more modern, individualistic lifestyles as well as providing some measure of material support, explanations, and solutions based in the supernatural for the ills the population was suffering. The situation sparked fear of social chaos, partly owing to men’s uneasiness at the threat of losing their dominance over wives and offspring along with their control of economic resources. The new religious movements support male superiority while offering greater space for women, provided they keep to their assigned places. These movements thus combine material and social support with the spiritual.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Development Studies, SOAS, University of LondonUK


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