The Ties That Bind: mapping faith and family

May 24, 2019 by

by Jason S Carroll, MercatorNet:

Is faith a global force for good or ill in the family?

Does religion foster solidarity—or fuel conflict and inequality? Today’s headlines suggest the answer is “yes” to both. Yes, as Emile Durkheim taught us, religion can be and is a force for solidarity, but at the same time, as Max Weber taught us, religion can be and is also a force for conflict and inequality. In the 2019 World Family Mapwe consider a more specific question: is religion a force for good or ill in families around the globe?

Our report answers this question by looking at the relationship between religion and four important outcomes—relationship quality, fertility, domestic violence, and infidelity—in 11 countries in the Americas, Europe, and Oceania. These questions are especially salient in an era marked by what the New York Times has called the rise of post-familism in developing countries, where marriage and childbearing are in retreat in most higher-income countries. Faith may buffer against this post-familial turn, both by attaching particular meaning and importance to family life and by offering norms and networks that foster family solidarity. But these questions are also important given that religion may be a force for ill—legitimating gender inequality or violence in the family—a concern that has taken on particular salience in light of recent headlines about religion, domestic violence, and child sexual abuse.

Beyond the headlines, however, this report seeks to understand how religion is linked, on average, to four key family outcomes in 11 countries: Argentina, Australia, Chile, Canada, Colombia, France, Ireland, Mexico, Peru, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Drawing on data from the World Values Survey (WVS) and the Global Family and Gender Survey (GFGS), our report finds that:

Read here


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