AuthorHamar Martínez, Jessica
Committee ChairBeyerlein, Kraig
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation explores the factors associated with religious switching among Latinos in Chicago churches. In the last few decades, some scholars have suggested that there is a growing trend among Latinos away from Catholicism and toward conservative Protestantism. Drawing on insights from previous literature on religious conversion more broadly, and from literature on ethnic and immigrant congregations, I examine the possibility that the way a church meets the various needs of congregants is associated with religious switching. More specifically, I explore whether having one's social, spiritual, and material needs met through one's congregation is associated with switching from participation in a Catholic church to participation in a Protestant church. To explore these potential associations, I use data from the Chicago Latino Congregations Study (CLCS), a multilevel study of predominantly Latino congregations in Chicago and the churchgoers who attend them. Using multilevel modeling, I examine both individual congregant-level factors and congregation-level factors, including characteristics of church leaders, and their association with religious switching. The results of this analysis suggest the importance of examining whether or not congregations have formalized ways of incorporating new members into the church, and whether or not the church leader is directly involved with helping congregants meet material needs such as finding a job. Also, results demonstrate that these two factors are more commonly found in evangelical and Pentecostal Protestant churches in Chicago than in Catholic churches. I propose that when congregations employ methods of reaching out to potential new members in personal, individualized ways—such as a church leader directly helping a potential new member with finding a job—affective ties are established and nurtured, setting the ground work for religious switching.
Degree ProgramGraduate College