ERIC Number: EJ893856
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
The Economics and Sociology of Religious Giving: Instrumental Rationality or Communal Bonding?
Peifer, Jared L.
Social Forces, v88 n4 p1569-1594 Jun 2010
Religious individuals commonly make sizable monetary sacrifices by contributing to their congregations. This social action resides in the overlap of religious and economic realms of behavior, creating a certain tension. Following a Weberian approach to social inquiry, I treat religious giving as social action whereby individuals direct their value-rational and instrumental-rational behavior towards others. Using data from the American Congregational Giving Survey and the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey, I test hypotheses derived from a rational choice perspective, the sense of solidarity one feels, and from the religious meaning of the giver. Rational choice hypotheses produce mixed results, the solidarity impact is confirmed, and high levels of religiosity have a strong impact on giving. (Contains 4 tables, 1 figure and 18 notes.)
Descriptors: Prosocial Behavior, Sharing Behavior, Donors, Religious Factors, Social Action, Social Capital, Religion, Economics, Sociology, Role of Religion, Predictor Variables, Group Membership
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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