Equally devout, but do they speak the same language? Comparing the religious beliefs and practices of social workers and the general public

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

While the profession is witnessing growing interest in addressing consumers' spiritual and religious strengths, no studies have explicitly sought to compare the religious values of social workers with those of the general public. This study uses a nationally representative data set, the General Social Survey, to compare the beliefs and practices of graduate-level (n = 53) and bachelor-level (n = 92) social workers with those of the lower, working, and middle classes. The results suggest that the contents of belief systems differ, particularly between graduate workers and the lower and working classes, with social workers being more likely to endorse liberal religious beliefs. Yet, while the belief systems differed, there was little variation in expression, as social workers were roughly as likely to attend services and consider themselves strong adherents of their faith as members of the lower, working, and middle classes. The paper concludes by discussing some of the implications of the difference in belief systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-584
Number of pages12
JournalFamilies in Society
Volume83
Issue number5-6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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