Title

Research Note: Religious Affiliation and Poverty Explanations: Individual, Structural, and Divine Causes

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-19-2012

Publication Title

Sociological Focus

DOI

10.1080/00380237.2008.10571332

ISSN

2162-1128

Abstract

Prior studies of people's explanations for poverty have relied upon individual, structural, and fatalistic explanations. This paper explores an additional explanation for poverty, divine intervention. Using a sample of 360 college students, I show that divine intervention is a distinct explanation for poverty. I then examine if or how six religious groups—conservative, African American, and mainline Protestants, Catholics, the nonaffiliated, and those with “other” beliefs—differ in their views of individual, structural, and divine explanations for poverty. Results show that members of conservative Protestant denominations are more individualistic than Catholics and the nonaffiliated. African American Protestants were significantly more structuralist than conservative Protestants. African American Protestants are more likely than conservative Protestants, and both are more likely than Catholics, the nonaffiliated, and those with “other” beliefs, to believe that divine intervention is an important explanation for poverty.

Comments

Copyright and Open Access: http://sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/issn/0038-0237/

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