Degree Year

1950

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Sociology

Advisor(s)

J. Milton Yinger

Keywords

Protestant Church, Religion, Sociology

Abstract

The major purpose of the paper is, of course, to record the results of a very limited study ofsome of the functions of urban Protestant churches. However, in order that this particular study may be seen in proper context, it seems necessary to begin the report with a brief consideration of the general area of the sociology of religion, including major questions with which previous research and theories have been concerned, and significant trends in contemporary research in this area.

A further requirement for adequate reporting of a study such as this one seems to be a complete description of methods used in gathering and analyzing the material. It might appear to some that since results are what will be most important, methods of obtaining these results make no difference to the value of the conclusions. However, the results are actually of value only when seen in the context of the total field of research, the fundamental assumptions of the specific research reported, techniques used, and all changes in the ideas and methods of research which occurred as the researcher learned more about the subject. This particular study in itself may not produce any outstanding conclusions in regard to the sociology of religion. But its relation to other problems in the field, and the processes by which what information and insights it represents were collected and developed, should at least clarify one or two of the many questions in the sociology of religion and should perhaps point to fruitful areas for further study.

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