Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
This is a study of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint Greenwood congregation located in Littleton, Colorado. It is a sect oriented religious body situated in an urban area. A sample of fifty-eight adults, twenty-three years of age and older, of an adult population of 149 persons, was analyzed for the presence and relationship of types of individual religiosity and upper and lower socioeconomic status. The factors of occupation, education and income were combined into an index for determining the divisions of socioeconomic status. Types of individual religiosity were constructed with concepts derived from the church-sect theory of religious institution. This procedure was based on N.J. Demerath III’s work which is described in his book, Social Class in American Protestantism. Four typologies of individual religiosity were constructed: (1) totally involved, (2) pure church type, (3) pure sect type, (4) the dormant parishioner. Sociological literature on the history and development of the church-sect dichotomy is discussed. Empirical studies of religious institutions and individual religiosity, based on the theoretical concepts of the church-sect dichotomy and its relationship to socioeconomic status are reviewed. The research of literature lends credence to the author’s assumption that each religious body has a dominant worldview which is associated with the socioeconomic status of its adherents. The research of literature lends credence to the author’s assumption that each religious body has subsystems within its structure which are associated with the socioeconomic status of the parishioners. The sociological study of the congregation reveals its over-all sectlike orientation, the presence of subsystems within its structure and the relationship of socioeconomic status with the over-all sectlike orientation and subsystems. The relationship of socioeconomic status with the typologies of pure churchlike religiosity and pure sectlike religiosity was tested by the statistic, chi square. Upper status association with a pure churchlike religiosity and lower status association with a pure sectlike religiosity was significant at the 5% level. Dimensions of church attendance, institutional and nonchurch volunteer organization participation, influence of church membership in daily life, communal factor, attitude toward minister’s preaching on controversial subjects, and leadership indicate a tendency to be associated with socioeconomic status in the sect oriented congregation.
Copyright 1970 George Dale Argotsinger
Argotsinger, George Dale, "Religiosity and Social Status Within a Sect : A Study of the Church-Sect Dichotomy" (1970). Master's Theses. 1263.