134lecture26(mar11)bw

134lecture26(mar11)bw - Two views of conversion Turnabout...

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1 © 2005 David Schweingruber The Social Organization of Conversions March 11, 2005 http://www.iastate.edu/~soc.134 © 2005 David Schweingruber Two views of conversion Turnabout view of conversion • Radical break with past and immersion in a new life Institutionalized view of conversion • Organized by families, churches and revivalists • Often an age-stage ritual to affirm existing values • Like other rituals, can still be meaningful experience Two key studies & one documentary • Wimberly et al’s survey of Knoxville, TN, rally • Altheide & Johnson’s covert participant observation of Phoenix, AZ, rally • Video: Billy Graham ( Biography series, Randall Balmer narrated) © 2005 David Schweingruber The role of family and churches Conversions organized by families and churches as life-stage ritual to re-affirm existing values (Wimberly et al. 1975) Method: survey at Knoxville Billy Graham rally 91% of attendees were church members Bloc mobilization: 31% came with church group Not break with family: 66% came with
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