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“It’s in God’s Hands”: Socioeconomic Status and the Sense of Divine Control among Black and White Elderly

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Abstract:

What types of people are more likely to perceive that God controls their fate? Using data from a sample of 1,167 black and white elderly, we examine the effects of two forms of socioeconomic status (SES)—education and income—on the sense of divine control. We also explore whether or not those effects vary by race, as well as explanations for any race-contingent effects. Results indicate that education and income are associated negatively with the sense of divine control, although those effects are significantly stronger among whites. Adjustment for race-linked differences in religiosity reduces part of the race gap, but the effect remains significant. In contrast, we fail to find support for the deprivation-compensation hypothesis, which proposes that the disadvantaged seek out religion as compensation. Specifically, adjustment for an array of potential stressors (i.e., perceived unfair treatment, life events, economic hardship, health conditions, and neighborhood problems) has little effect on the race-contingent effects of SES. Taken together, our final model explains over half of the total variation in the sense of divine control. We discuss the implications of our findings for common assertions about race and class differences in religious precepts and practices and offer speculation about the persistence of SES-by-race effects irrespective of the degree of religiosity and stressors.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

black (93), control (73), divin (70), race (56), god (55), religi (50), 1 (44), white (39), among (37), incom (33), sens (32), educ (32), religion (30), 01 (30), studi (28), 2 (27), religios (27), item (25), ses (25), effect (24), differ (23),

Author's Keywords:

Religiosity, Aging, SES, Race, Divine Control
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Name: American Sociological Association
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MLA Citation:

Schieman, Scott. and Pudrovska, Tetyana. "“It’s in God’s Hands”: Socioeconomic Status and the Sense of Divine Control among Black and White Elderly" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Atlanta Hilton Hotel, Atlanta, GA, Aug 16, 2003 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p107326_index.html>

APA Citation:

Schieman, S. and Pudrovska, T. , 2003-08-16 "“It’s in God’s Hands”: Socioeconomic Status and the Sense of Divine Control among Black and White Elderly" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Atlanta Hilton Hotel, Atlanta, GA Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p107326_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: What types of people are more likely to perceive that God controls their fate? Using data from a sample of 1,167 black and white elderly, we examine the effects of two forms of socioeconomic status (SES)—education and income—on the sense of divine control. We also explore whether or not those effects vary by race, as well as explanations for any race-contingent effects. Results indicate that education and income are associated negatively with the sense of divine control, although those effects are significantly stronger among whites. Adjustment for race-linked differences in religiosity reduces part of the race gap, but the effect remains significant. In contrast, we fail to find support for the deprivation-compensation hypothesis, which proposes that the disadvantaged seek out religion as compensation. Specifically, adjustment for an array of potential stressors (i.e., perceived unfair treatment, life events, economic hardship, health conditions, and neighborhood problems) has little effect on the race-contingent effects of SES. Taken together, our final model explains over half of the total variation in the sense of divine control. We discuss the implications of our findings for common assertions about race and class differences in religious precepts and practices and offer speculation about the persistence of SES-by-race effects irrespective of the degree of religiosity and stressors.

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Document Type: .PDF
Page count: 29
Word count: 6974
Text sample:
“It’s in God’s Hands” Socioeconomic Status and the Sense of Divine Control among Black and White Elderly SCOTT SCHIEMAN TETYANA PUDROVSKA University of Maryland College Park An NIA grant award AG17461 (Leonard I. Pearlin P.I.) supports this work. Address correspondence to Scott Schieman Department of Sociology University of Maryland 2112 Art- Sociology Building College Park MD 21742-1315. E-mail: sschieman@socy.umd.edu. ABSTRACT What types of people are more likely to perceive that God controls their fate? Using data from a sample
Education 28 FIGURE 2. Income and the Sense of Divine Control among Blacks and Whites 3.6 3.4 Blacks Sense of Divine Control 3.2 3.0 2.8 2.6 Whites 2.4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Household Income 29


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