Church Social Inequality Discussion Questions

March 1, 2022

Church Social Inequality Discussion Questions

Church Social Inequality Discussion Questions

Church Social Inequality Discussion Questions

Question Description

I’m working on a sociology writing question and need a sample draft to help me learn.

1. Is our tendency to want to impute blame on other races or ethnic groups for a virus spread, something that is innate in humans because of our tribal lineage?

2. We know that cooperation, trade, and travel is necessary in our global world, do we simply accept the possibility of widespread pandemics, as a consequence of our globalized world?

How churches address inequality within their own
community is another question. Wuthnow (2003) finds
that the religiously involved are slightly more likely
be friends with members of historically disadvantaged
groups, including racial minorities or those using government assistance programs. This finding is important in
light of past research showing that inter-status relationships create less social distance and more social benefits between groups

Church Social Inequality Discussion Questions

Church Social Inequality Discussion Questions

(Yancey, 1999). However, these findings are largely a product of who is already a member
of the congregation—Wuthnow (2003) finds that mainline Protestants and Jews, who are typically high status, are least likely to have friends from disadvantaged
backgrounds—meaning that those befriending lower status members may be of only somewhat higher status themselves, and suggesting that religious membership does not automatically push members to reach beyond their own social class. More broadly, disadvantaged members are at risk for feeling alienated from their
brethren.

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For example, Sullivan (2012) finds that some
of the most disadvantaged women leave faith communities despite their continued personal religiosity, feeling
unwelcome in congregations whose members are judgmental of their lives as single mothers or welfare recipients. And while Schwadel (2002) finds that lower status
church members may gain skills of civic engagement and
political participation from their higher status compatriots, positions of leadership remain highly stratified, limiting the benefits of cross-status relationships.
Most existing scholarship looking at religion and charitable activities focus on religious members’ involvement
with recipients outside of the congregation. In his comprehensive study of congregations, Chaves (2004, p. 48)
finds that, though 57% of religious groups engage in
some kind of social service, most do so in discrete, direct interventions like food or clothing donation, or by
partnering with larger secular organizations, like Habitat
for Humanity. These services are rarely targeted at members within the church’s own community. Chaves shows
that churches located in poor neighborhoods, but with a
largely middle-class membership, are most likely to offer social services. Churches with poorer membership

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