The Modern Girl and religious life
in Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age
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In Chapter 2 the discourse on the post-war Modern Girl takes centre stage and the chapter investigates how she influenced the boundaries of female religious life in British congregations and orders from the 1940s to the 1960s. It identifies the predominant themes developed by the cultural trope of the Modern Girl, which reflected certain orthodoxies regarding perceived social and moral swings and then demonstrates how these were incorporated within the Catholic discourse of youth culture in general, but more particularly the Catholic Modern Girl. Using primarily nun memoirs, apologetic texts and vocation promotion literature, it interrogates how the institutional Church along with female religious congregations and orders reacted to this discourse and what steps were taken (or not taken) to restructure the lived experience of religious life to accommodate the Modern Girl.