Families and Faith How Religion Is Passed down Across Generations

ISBN-10: 0199948658
ISBN-13: 9780199948659
Edition: 2013
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Description: Few things are more likely to cause heartache to devout parents than seeing their child leave the faith. And it seems, from media portrayals, that this is happening more and more frequently. But is religious change between generations common? How  More...

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Book details

List price: $35.50
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 11/15/2013
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 272
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.342
Language: English

Few things are more likely to cause heartache to devout parents than seeing their child leave the faith. And it seems, from media portrayals, that this is happening more and more frequently. But is religious change between generations common? How does religion get passed down from onegeneration to the next? Why do some families maintain one faith while others do not? What factors are likely to push people away from their childhood faith? What role does the particular faith play? The family? The wider society? Does atheism get passed down as well? In Families and Faith, Vern Bengtson seeks to answer these questions and more by drawing on an extraordinary study, conducted over more than four decades, of more than 350 families composed of more than 2400 people whose lives span more than a century: the oldest was born in 1881, the youngest in1988. Bengtson argues that a child is actually more likely to remain within the fold than to leave it, and, more surprisingly, that parents' influence has remained relatively stable since the early 1970s. Even the nonreligious, in fact, are much more likely to be following their parents thanrebelling against them. And while outside social forces play a role, the most important factor in whether a child keeps the faith is the presence of a strong fatherly bond. Armed with this unprecedented data, Bengtson offers remarkable insight into American religion over the course of severaldecades.

Vern Bengtson is the AARP/University Chair in Gerontology and Professor of Sociology at the University of Southern California. He has published 15 books and over 220 articles in gerontology, the sociology of the life course, family sociology, social psychology, and ethnicity and aging.nbsp; He was elected President of the Gerontological Society of America and has been granted a MERIT award from the National Institute on Aging for his 35-year Longitudinal Study of Generations. Bengtson's honors include (twice) the Reuben Hill Award from the National Council of Family Relations (1980 and 1986); the Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Sociological Association's section on aging (1995); the Robert W. Kleemeier Award from the Gerontological Society of America (1996); and the Ernest W. Burgess Award from the National Council on Family Relations (1998).nbsp; In addition he has received several awards for teaching, which has provided his greatest satisfaction throughout his career.nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;

Preface
Acknowledgements
Families, Religion, and a Century of Change
Families of Faith: Challenges to Continuity
Religion and Spirituality Across Generations
Has Family Influence Declined?
Family Patterns and Religious Momentum Across Generations
The Importance of Warmth: Parental Piety and the Distant Dad
The Unexpected Importance of Grandparents (and Great-Grandparents)
How Interfaith Marriage and Divorce Affect Continuity
Will They Leave, or Will They Stay?
Interruptions in Religious Continuity: Rebels, Zealots, and Prodigals
The "Nones": Families of Nonreligious Youth
The Power of Community: Families of Mormons, Jews, and Evangelicals
Conclusion: What We Have Learned and How It Might Be Useful
Appendix: Research Methods and Procedures of the Study
Notes
References
Index

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