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Understanding Personal Change in a Women’s Faith-Based Transitional Center
Department of Justice Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1201 University Boulevard, Suite 210 Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
Department of Sociology, Davidson College, Box 7139, Davidson, NC 28035, USA
Department of Sociology, University of Georgia, 113 Baldwin Hall, Athens, GA 30602, USA
Department of Sociology, Louisiana State University, 126 Stubbs Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
Department of Sociology, Xavier University of Louisiana, 1 Drexel Drive, P.O. Box 147, New Orleans, LA 70125, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 June 2011; in revised form: 15 June 2011 / Accepted: 21 June 2011 / Published: 22 June 2011
Abstract: An impressive research literature has emerged that identifies linkages between religion and a wide range of attitudes, behaviors, and life events. We contribute to this literature by exploring how women undergoing difficult life circumstances—such as incarceration, drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence, unemployment, and homelessness—use faith to cope with and change these circumstances. To address this issue we analyze semi-structured interviews with 40 residents of a faith-based transitional center for women in the Southern United States. The residents outline a narrative of change in which they distinguish between the “old self” and “new self.” The narratives also specify the role of religiosity in facilitating change, the creation of a faith-based identity, and the strategies used for maintaining change. We conclude with implications for faith-based treatment programs, local pastors and religious congregants involved in social outreach ministry, sociology of religion scholars, and policy makers.
Keywords: religiosity; identity; correctional treatment; transitional centers
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Kerley, K.R.; Copes, H.; Linn, A.J.; Eason, L.; Nguyen, M.H.; Stone, A.M. Understanding Personal Change in a Women’s Faith-Based Transitional Center. Religions 2011, 2, 184-197.
Kerley KR, Copes H, Linn AJ, Eason L, Nguyen MH, Stone AM. Understanding Personal Change in a Women’s Faith-Based Transitional Center. Religions. 2011; 2(2):184-197.
Kerley, Kent R.; Copes, Heith; Linn, Alana J.; Eason, Lauren; Nguyen, Minh H.; Stone, Ariana Mishay. 2011. "Understanding Personal Change in a Women’s Faith-Based Transitional Center." Religions 2, no. 2: 184-197.