By Armand L. Mauss
"The prior few a long time have witnessed an expanding response of the Mormons opposed to their very own winning assimilation, " Armand Mauss writes within the Angel and the Beehive, "as notwithstanding attempting to recuperate many of the cultural rigidity and distinct identification linked to their previous 'sect-like' history." This retrenchment between Mormons is the most topic of Mauss's ebook, which analyzes the final 40 years of Mormon background from a sociological point of view. on the professional ecclesiastical point, Mauss reveals, the retrenchment could be obvious within the significantly elevated centralization of bureaucratic keep watch over and in renewed emphases on obedience to trendy prophets, on family tree and vicarious temple paintings, and on conventional relations existence; retrenchment is additionally obvious in broad formal spiritual indoctrination by means of full-time pros and in an elevated sophistication and depth of proselytizing. At what he refers to as "the folks or grassroots point, " Mauss unearths that Mormons have as a rule been compliant with the retrenchment attempt and are this present day a minimum of as "religious" on such a lot measures as they have been within the Sixties. a large section of the Mormon club, Mauss asserts, has long past past "Mormon" retrenchment to specific itself in a transforming into inn to Protestant fundamentalism, either in scriptural figuring out and in highbrow kind. the writer calls on a wide range of resources in sociology and heritage to teach that Mormons, who by way of mid-century had come some distance from their place as disreputable "outsiders" in a society ruled by means of the mainline religions, look now to be adopting extra conservative methods and looking a go back to a extra sectarian posture.
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This technology has gradually become rather highly refined by well-known professional organizations like Gallup and the National Opinion Research Corpora tion (NORC), as well as by many university-affiliated research centers and institutes. Just what constitutes a truly “representative” (or otherwise appropriate) sample is always an important issue in any survey. Profes sionals who forecast the outcomes of important elections have often dem onstrated an uncanny precision in their predictions with national samples of only about 1,500 respondents, when such samples are carefully drawn with certain key population traits and locales in mind.
Yet how much did Mormons resemble their American neighbors in their actual thinking about religious and social issues? 2 The two California samples quite clearly fall into the “settlement” pat tern discussed in chapter 1, but they, in turn, represent two different modes of settlement. The 1964 East Bay suburban sample would be the more “normal” of the two, since it was comprised mainly of families more or less typical in age, in occupational distributions, and in other demo graphic traits. Spatially or ecologically, this sample was distributed across an area that included both newly settled suburbs and small towns on the suburban fringe.
1). The church during the fifties and sixties was led by President David O. McKay, a prophet with an image and reputation for outreach, humanitarianism, patriotism, relatively liberal thinking, and a conciliatory approach to all kinds of conflict. ) Partly through his efforts, furthermore, the Mormon church had been enjoying a level of favorable coverage in the mass media that was historically unprecedented (Lythgoe, 1968). Yet how much did Mormons resemble their American neighbors in their actual thinking about religious and social issues?