Sociology of Mormon Kinship: The Place of Family Within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints

Author: Black, Kristeen
Year:2016
ISBN:1-4955-0454-9
978-1-4955-0454-9
Price:219.95
This sociological study of Mormon worldview and culture is a fresh and engaging ethnographic portrait of the contemporary lives of typical American Mormons. It accurately and comprehensively provides new insights on the ideology of family building within the varied Mormon communities of this once insular faith.

Reviews

“In this path breaking work, Kris Black leads us into the complexity of Mormon congregations and their relationship to the image and organization of the Church. …She is a detailed and methodical ethnographer…Black brings a deep, graceful, and compelling view of Mormon life…”
Professor David Knowlton,
Utah Valley University


“…contemporary congregation studies remains a glaring lacuna in the social scientific literature of Mormonism…Black has stepped into this void, and offers a theoretically rich and methodologically sophisticated account of the construction and maintenance of Mormon identity and solidarity.”
Rick Phillips, Associate Professor of Sociology and Religion,
University of North Florida


"By delving into each of these causes of the enlarged interpretation of kin, A Sociology of Mormon Kinship becomes a congregational study of living religion. The ward family, consisting of a variety of members from diverse backgrounds, constantly practices an ethic of caring and loving other members as well as the greater community. ... provides a keen insight for anyone interested in the understanding the lived reality of Mormon religion and the family."
Dr. V. Jacquette Rhoades,
Rhodes State College


“This important study will be much appreciated in a world where sociological studies of Mormonism, by those who deeply understand the world of Mormonism, are few and far between.”
Laurel Kearns, Associate Professor of the Sociology of Religion and Environmental Studies,
Drew Theological School


Table of Contents

Abstract / Foreword / Preface / Acknowledgements
PART I: MORMONS AND THE FAMILY
Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION

Outline of the argument
LDS family ideology vs the lived experience of family
Family: A problematic focus
Ethic of care
Research questions
Model for the Symbolic System of Family
Locating the researcher
Insider/outsider
Chapter 2: ACCESSING MORMON COMMUNITIES
Methodology
Interviews
Demographics
Themes
Narrative analysis
The analytical rubric
Selecting Mormon communities
Communities included
Choosing resources
Chapter 3: THE LDS CHURCH AND FAMLY
Shift in focus
The place of women in the LDS Church
Feminists
Chapter 4: MORMONISM: A BRIEF HISTORY
The relationship between religion and family
LDS Church demographic thumbnail sketch
Introduction to Mormon History
Joseph Smith’s plan for family and community
Mormonism: A restored gospel
Burned-over district
The impact of death
Christian identity
Chapter 5: THE MORMON PEOPLE
A Peculiar people
Mormonism as an ethnic sub-culture
Lived religion specific codes of conduct
Polygamy
Gender roles
Mormon bureaucratic structures
Gender roles in Mormon bureaucratic structures
The demographics of Mormon bureaucracy
Mormon worship services
Sunday services
PART II: THE SYMBOLIC SYSTEM OF FAMILY
Chapter 6: SOCIETY: SOCIAL INSTANCES OF FAMLY

Place of family in society
Strong families – strong societies
Religious values
Perceived threats to family and society
Modernization and industrialization
Marriage and gender rights
Chapter 7: LDS CHURCH: THEMES OF FAMILY
Eternal family
Marriage culture
Home ritual
Temple ritual
Temple building
Church programs strengthen families
Ward callings
Church discourse and rhetoric
Chapter 8: FAMLY UNITS SOCIAL STRUICTURE OF FAMLY
The nuclear family
Kindship networks
Gender roles
Marriage
Human family and divine parents
Chapter 9: CARE SOCIAL INSTANCES OF CARE
Care
Service
Family and kin
Friends
Community
Mormon volunteer rates
LDS church welfare programs
Congregation
Ethic of care
PART III: APPLYING AN IDEA OF FAMILY
Chapter 10: WARD FAMILY: THE LIVED EXPERIENCE OF THE SYMBOLIC SYSTEM OF FAMILY

Who is left out?
Singlehood
Childless Mormons
Racism
Gender issues
Sexual orientation
Strict churches are strong churches
What is family?
Ward family
Chapter 11: CONCLUSION
Ward: a family of families
The Mormon ethic of care
Summary of chapter discussions
Significance of this work
Future work
Insider/outsider, the effect of this study on the researcher
Ward family
APPENDIX
Appendix A
The Family: A proclamation to the World
Appendix B: Hymns
Appendix C: General Authorities
Appendix D: Interview Questions
Appendix E: Funeral Potatoes
Appendix F; Word of Wisdom
Glossary
Reference List
Index