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Book: Key Categories in the Study of Religion

Chapter: 16. “There is No Place for the State in the Bedrooms of the Nation”: The Case of Québec’s Bill 21

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.39439


What happens if we take Megan Goodwin’s argument that “Every piece of writing about religion offers a theory of what religion is and what it does” and substitute “secularism” for “religion”? And, how do theories of secularism necessarily relate to gender? This chapter problematizes Goodwin’s “religion/gender” theoretical lens in relation to 2019 legislation on secularism in Québec, Canada. Selby argues that Law 21’s ambiguity around acceptable religion in its focus on religious signs and narrow version of gender equality do a lot of work in delineating acceptable gender norms.

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