Religion, Social Class, and Counseling

Saba Rasheed Ali and Owen J. Gaasedelen

in The Oxford Handbook of Social Class in Counseling

Published in print March 2013 | ISBN: 9780195398250
Published online May 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Religion, Social Class, and Counseling

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  • Psychology
  • Counselling Psychology
  • Psychological Assessment and Testing
  • Developmental Psychology


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Within the psychological and counseling literature, very little attention has been paid to the interactions between religious beliefs and social class, yet there is a vast amount of literature within sociology and religious studies that discusses work ethic and social class systems related to various religious traditions. The current chapter provides a broad overview of the sociological and religious studies literature related to social class issues within the world's four major religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism). Using the framework of the social class worldview model (SCWM; Liu, Ali, Soleck, Hopps, & Pickett, 2004), the chapter also discusses some of the implications this literature has for counseling. Specifically, it discusses how psychological classism can manifest from religious beliefs and how these issues of classism may be addressed within counseling. Finally, research implications are provided for how psychologists and counselors may investigate the relationship between social class attitudes and religious beliefs.

Keywords: social class; religious beliefs; religion; Islam; Christianity; Hinduism; Judaism

Article.  8684 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Counselling Psychology ; Psychological Assessment and Testing ; Developmental Psychology

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