Rational Choice Theory and Religion Summary and Assessment

ISBN-10: 0415911923

ISBN-13: 9780415911924

Edition: 1997

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Description:

Rational Choice Theory and Religionconsiders one of the major developments in the social scientific paradigms that promises to foster a greater theoretical unity among the disciplines of sociology, political science, economics and psychology. Applying the theory of rational choice--the theory that each individual will make her choice to maximize gain and minimize cost--to the study of religion, Lawrence Young has brought together a group of internationally renowned scholars to examine this important development within the field of religion for the first time. The collection of essays addresses why it is that individuals are drawn to a religion. Using economic models from which rational choice theory was orignally derived, the contributors find that an individual's religious choice has as much to do with an individual's demand for religous meaning as it does with the plurality of religions one can choose from. The more religions, they contend, the more likely it is the peoplewill believe in one or more of the religions available. With rational choice's capacity to consider the broadest range of issues surrouding religious choice and belief,Rational Choice Theory and Religionmakes a salient contribution to the sociological study of religion, as it promises to replace other dominant paradigms in the field, such as as secularization. Contributors:Rodney Stark, Roger Finke, Darren Sherkat, R. Stephen Warner, Mary Jo Neitz, Nancy T. Ammerman, Lawrence A. Young, Michael Hechter, Randall Collins.
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Book details

List price: $53.95
Copyright year: 1997
Publisher: Routledge
Publication date: 12/24/1996
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.484
Language: English

Contributors
Introduction
Summary
Bringing Theory Back in
Rational Choice: Framework for the Scientific Study of Religion
The Consequences of Religious Competition: Supply-Side Explanations for Religious Change
Embedding Religious Choices: Integrating Preferences and Social Constraints into Rational Choice Theories of Religious Behavior
Convergence Toward the New Paradigm: A Case of Induction
Assessment
Economic Man and the Sociology of Religion: A Critique of the Rational Choice Approach
Religious Choice and Religious Vitality: The Market and Beyond
Phenomenological Images of Religion and Rational Choice Theory
Religion and Rational Choice Theory
Stark and Bainbridge, Durkheim and Weber: Theoretical Comparisons
Index
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