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Religions 2011, 2(2), 184-197; doi:10.3390/rel2020184

Understanding Personal Change in a Women’s Faith-Based Transitional Center

1,* , 1
1 Department of Justice Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1201 University Boulevard, Suite 210 Birmingham, AL 35294, USA 2 Department of Sociology, Davidson College, Box 7139, Davidson, NC 28035, USA 3 Department of Sociology, University of Georgia, 113 Baldwin Hall, Athens, GA 30602, USA 4 Department of Sociology, Louisiana State University, 126 Stubbs Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA 5 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 / Revised: 15 June 2011 / Accepted: 21 June 2011 / Published: 22 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion)
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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 religiosity; identity; correctional treatment; transitional centers
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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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.

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