Frankenthaler L. (2015)/ Dialogical Deconversion Understanding Undercover Infidelity, Journal of Religion & Society, Ben Gurion University

This article examines the process of departure or “deconversion” from Ultra-Orthodox
(Haredi) Judaism of young men in Israel. Deconversion describes the progression of
abandoning a faith community and the difficulties involved. It is dialogical because it
describes an interaction between the individual, his position, and the Haredi structure that
seeks to speak in one authoritarian voice. Dialogical theory leans on the work by early 20th
century Russian literature scholar Mikhail Bakhtin, which was later adopted by social
psychologists, literature scholars, and social and cultural anthropologists and sociologists. I
introduce the reader to the figured world of Haredi Judaism, its intensity, religiosity, and the
way young men interviewed struggle with living a life they do not believe in and
subsequently negotiate their way out.

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