Floating Chat Floating Box
Chapter 6 discusses how the author’s mother gets caught up in a scam to go to New York so that Lindsay, Vance’s sister, can become a model. The failure of this dream to pan out causes Vance to ask his grandmother if God loved them. This leads to a discussion of what religion and faith looked like to this family and this community. Vance’s mother’s relationships and marriages to different men cause Vance to question his identity. It is his relationship with his biological father that exposes him to the ideals of conservative Protestantism. Vance explores the role religion plays in his life as well as how it helps address the pain of feeling fatherless.
Key quote: “Religious institutions remain a positive force in people’s lives, but in a part of the country slammed by the decline of manufacturing, joblessness, addiction, and broken homes, church attendance has fallen off. Dad’s church offered something desperately needed by people like me” (94).
Religion and Prosperity
How Religion Contributes To Wealth And Poverty
This blog post, written by a Duke University sociology professor, Lisa Keister, provides a general overview of how protestant, Catholic, Jewish and Mormon attitudes towards wealth and education affect the amount of wealth they actually accumulate. The author implies that certain religious attitudes towards wealth and education contribute to inequality.
Religiosity Highest in World's Poorest Nations
This article summarizes a Gallup pole that indicates that with few exceptions, one including the United States, poorer countries tend to be more religious. This trend is different in the United States where 65 percent claim that religion plays an important role (or factors significantly) in their lives. Researchers believe that the reason for the emphasis on religion is that it serves as a coping mechanism that allows those without wealth to mentally deal with the obstacles that often accompany poverty.
Do countries lose religion as they gain wealth?
Is religion something that we choose when we lack resources and income equality? Is that the reason there is a church on every corner in some neighborhoods? Researchers contribute the religiosity of the United States to growing social inequality: "We have 50 to 60 million people without health insurance; we have the highest child poverty rates of the industrialized democratic world; the greatest gap between rich and poor of the industrialized democratic world; we have increasing inequality and, voilà, we also have a strongly religious society … that can't be accidental." While religious fervor does remain strong, the article reports a 31% decrease in the belief in God among Americans in the past sixty years.
Food for Thought
Is religion important in American society? What role does it play and what is its impact?
If religion is no longer important, what other cultural norms hold us together as a nation?
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