Obedience and Authority among Muslim Couples: Negotiating Gendered Religious Scripts in Contemporary Indonesia Journal Article uri icon



  • AbstractThis study of Muslim married couples in Indonesia shows that religiously justified scripts about wives’ obedience and husbands’ household authority are ways of accomplishing gender as well as achieving status as good Muslims. Such scripts are amplified by a context in which a version of Islamic family law that envisions women as primarily domestic and men as household authorities and breadwinners has been institutionalized. However, this vision is also being challenged by women’s increasing educational attainment as well as competing egalitarian discourses of gender in Islam. The gendered religious scripts used by Muslim couples compensate for social changes that threaten to reshape both domestic and public life. I propose that how Muslim men and women talk about their marriages and households has become a key mechanism for accomplishing modern Muslim gender identities in a context where men’s authority is at risk. These dynamics may be especially prevalent in Muslim contexts where Islamic law is becoming more institutionalized in state bureaucracies and everyday life.

publication date

  • August 20, 2019

Full Author List

  • Rinaldo R

Other Profiles

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 323

end page

  • 349


  • 80


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