Conversion, Identity, and Power examines how the introduction of the church as a new social institution affects social exchanges, power relationships, and social identity in the Tagal communities. A. Sue Russell uses resources, control of resources, and social exchanges to obtain these resources, from Richard Adams' definition of social power forms as a framework for studying the impact of this new social institution. She focuses on the two key power relationships in Tagal society: the relationships formed to gain supernatural resources, and the relationship between wife-giver and wife-taker formed through the payment of bridewealth. Russell explains that Christianity offered a superior source for supernatural knowledge and abilities, which have social value in Tagal society. She details the control of the church over supernatural resources and how the people enter into social exchanges to obtain the benefits of these resources. The author also examines how the shift in social exchanges for supernatural resources impacted other social exchanges and power relationships, providing new insights into the dynamics of cultural changes resulting from the introduction of Christianity.
A. Sue Russell is Instructor of Sociology at Biola University.
chapter 1 Introduction chapter 2 Tagal Power Relationships chapter 3 The Supernatural and Power chapter 4 The Church and Power chapter 5 Bridewealth, Status, and Power chapter 6 Leadership and Power chapter 7 Social Identity and Power chapter 8 Conversion, Identity, and Power chapter 9 Bibliography chapter 10 Index