"When large numbers of people make similar decisions about their lives, they set events in motion that have far-reaching consequences, sometimes unwittingly," she said.
Brekus said agency should be seen as relational and social, as well as individual, that it should be understood as existing on a continuum, and that it is always shaped by cultural norms and structural constraints.
"We should remember that agency takes place within structures as well as against them," she said. "Of course, this is not a new observation, but it bears repeating here because it reminds us that women creatively appropriated LDS history in order to make space for their own importance and authority. Lucy Walker Kimball, for example, made sure that younger Mormons knew that Joseph Smith frowned on men who belittled their wives."
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