2012-2013 Academic Year Calendar
Saturday October 20, 2012
Crown Center 530
Presenters: Thomas J. Josephsohn and Todd Nicholas Fuist, Department of Sociology, Loyola University Chicago
"Lines That Matter, Lines That Don't: Religion, Boundaries, and the Meaning of Difference"
Abstract: Recent work in cultural sociology has noted the importance of boundaries for understanding intergroup relations. Within the sociology of religion, this has manifested in research into interreligious conflict and cooperation. However, the current literature often assumes that boundaries have fixed qualities and generate clear consequences for group interaction. In this paper, we draw on two data sets, comprising interviews and ethnographic data on ten different religious groups from a variety of faith traditions, to demonstrate that cultural resources, including religious beliefs, may be used to assess the meaning and saliency of boundaries. Particular qualities of boundaries shape how social actors understand and interpret group difference, suggesting that boundaries themselves are a site of struggle. Finally, we use Josephsohn’s RelFebruary 18th, 2012