Journal Article

Structural Adaptations in Immigrant Congregations

Helen Rose Ebaugh and Janet Saltzman Chafetz

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 61, issue 2, pages 135-153
Published in print January 2000 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2000 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI:
Structural Adaptations in Immigrant Congregations

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In this paper we show that immigrant religious institutions tend to assume many elements of a congregational structure and a community center model of functioning, characteristics usually not found in their countries of origin. Based on data from the Religion, Ethnicity, New Immigrants Research (RENIR) project in Houston, Texas, we found, however, that the two dimensions are distinct and largely unrelated to one another. While each serves as a vehicle to engender high levels of member commitment to the religious institution and serves to meet both religious and material needs of the immigrants, congregations vary in the degree to which they develop the two major elements of Congregationalism.

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Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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