Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Frederick W. Preston

Number of Pages



Religious orientations, practices, and attitudes held by people relate in many ways to their behavior in secular society. To evaluate these various relationships several questions were considered. To what degree do religious beliefs influence an individual's daily attitudes and behaviors? Is there a segment of society that benefits from religious practices? Is a part of society harmed by these beliefs?;Seeking to eliminate the possible effects of diffusion and acculturation, a rural town with a dominant religious ideology was chosen. Of the hamlet's four thousand people approximately seventy-five percent were Mormon; The data was compiled using a complete participant observer research strategy. A pair of researchers, one male and one female, spent a year in the field gathering the data. While observing the daily interactions within the community, the male acted as an historian allowing for interviews to be openly solicited. The ability to openly interview the local residents enhanced the quality of the information gathered. The female researcher provided the "family look" while at the same time observing the clarifying the daily observations. The presentation is in ethnographic configuration; The field notes were placed within the framework of functional analysis for interpretation. We observed how the people of the village lived their daily lives then analyzed how the doctrines functioned for the people and the community; The tentative conclusions we reached revealed that the doctrines of the Mormon Church appeared to be dysfunctional for this community. The dysfunctionality seems to stem from a structural change in some of the Church's policies. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.).


Community; Counter; Definition; Dominant; Religion

Controlled Subject

Sociology; Social structure; Religion

File Format


File Size

3153.92 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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