Sunteți pe pagina 1din 3

Myles Tufts

SOC 317
3.29.15

Milestone One: Topic Submission

From the time I was young, Ive been curious about the bigger questions in life; what the

meaning of it is, and what our purpose could be. This lead to me studying many philosophical
and metaphysical texts, both Eastern and Western. Over the past few years, Ive been traveling
around to various spiritual/religious communities, learning their practices, and observing how
their lives are different-or the same-as those outside community life. Within these communities
are many relationships, and its been interesting to observe how the spiritual life both influences
and affects the marriages of these types of people. For this reason, I have chosen the topic,
Spirituality and Religion in the Family, for my final research paper. For my sources, I will use
three case studies that will help to shed light on this topic. The first study interviews a family, to
see the positive affects of spirituality on their relationships and lives. It is entitled, The Effect of
Spiritual Beliefs and Practices on Family Functioning: A Qualitative Study(Bailey, 2002). The
next study describes the growth of pathology in a young woman, stemming from the religious
beliefs of her familial system. It is entitled, Family Pathology and the Creation of Madness: A
Case Study of Mind Control(Caddy, 2012). The final study looks at inter-religious and intercultural families in Italy, a growing trend in the area, and the positive and negative effects that
come from them. It is entitled, Interreligious and Intercultural Families in Italy: An Analysis of
North African-Italian Marriages(Riya, 2010). From the scope of these studies, I will attempt to
show a wide range of viewpoints on my topic. I will also incorporate relevant sociological

!
!

theories that pertain to these studies. One theory that clearly relates to spirituality and religion in
the family, is functionalism. I will look at how families in the studies utilize sacred symbols,
objects, and rituals in order to make life meaningful to them, and to help in binding them through
their shared beliefs. This will probably be most applicable in regards to the first study. In the
second study, the theory of symbolic interactionism should be the center-point, showing how the
specific aspects of daily life in the family can affect how one comes to view the world, and
functions within it. The final study should emphasize aspects of Marxs conflict theory, where we
look at the dynamics of power struggle and control within different belief systems and cultural
values. By examining the topic from both case studies and sociological theory, the reader should
gain a well-rounded insight into the effects of religion and spirituality on the family institution.

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!

References

Bailey, C. E. (2002). The Effect of Spiritual Beliefs and Practices on Family Functioning: A
Qualitative Study. Journal Of Family Psychotherapy, 13(1/2), 127.
Caddy, G. R. (2012). Family Pathology and the Creation of Madness: A Case Study of Mind
Control. American Journal Of Family Therapy, 40(4), 297-319. doi:
10.1080/01926187.2011.614843
Riva, E. M. (2010). Interreligious and Intercultural Families in Italy: An Analysis of North
African-Italian Marriages. Journal Of Muslim Mental Health, 5(3), 301-326. doi:
10.1080/15564908.2010.551277

!
!