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Religion in the Family, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1072

Essay

Introduction

Religion is a set of beliefs, usually referred to as the belief in a god or gods (“Religion”, 2010). The role of religion in the family is a crucial one since it is one belief which rules of the household are usually based on. Religion sets up one’s beliefs and ethics, these things can affect the characteristics of a person. According to Keister (2008) religion is directly related to family values and how they see economics. Research shows that more theological families base their finances on religion which affects the entire household. A family’s values are directly related to religion, if religion is present in the household. The intersection of family life in religion is important to families in society (“Religion and Family Composition”, 2010). A number of households are run by grounded religious attitudes. It acts as a heritage, and is something which gets passed on along through the generations. However, there are certain family situation which deviate from this, whereas a family member is rebellious of the religious practices present in the household; although this paper refers to the families who share the same belief or religion. Research has shown that the role of religion tightens bonds within the family (Heyrman, 2008). According to Pavone (n.d.) religion makes a difference within the family in terms of stabalized ethics and beliefs.

Sample

The sample chosen is a Hispanic girl in her teenage years, living in what can be classified as a family-oriented household. She lives with her parents who are in their late forties, an older brother who is in his early twenties and their grandmother who is in her early seventies. The participants live in a small town, a suburban environment. They practice Catechism and pray together before meals, before going to bed, and the grandmother of the household regular prays the rosary. The participants attend mass every Sunday, and are very close friends with their local priest and other parishioners. The participants were chosen because of their house-hold set up as well as their cultural background, being dominated by Catholics. Religion is not only a part of their lives, it reflects in their culture.

Method

Data was gathered through the means of a face-to-face interview as well as observations in the household. The questions asked revolved around family matters and religion. Questions such as how religion plays a role in the family and what the bases of implementing household rules are. The participants were asked in a group interview.

Results

The participants reveal that religion is a very important part of their family as well as their daily lives. This can be seen throughout their household, which is decorated with religious artifacts adorning the walls and door frames. The participants state that it is their religion as well as their beliefs which keep their family together and safe at all times. It keeps them united and close as a family and is something all of them share as a part of their culture and heritage.

The participants state that they attend mass every Sunday morning as a family, and their entire Sunday is devoted to “family time”. They pray together, for each other and they do this before meals, before bed time and during times of “need”.

Religion is said to have affected their family’s structure because they follow their beliefs in implementing togetherness. This influence leads to their family-oriented structure, of having the grandmother in the household.

Religion has been present in their family for generations so long it cannot be traced back. It has fused in with their culture and has been practices for so long that no one knows its origins within their family.

The participants state that religion is passed down from generation to generation by their family practices of attending mass, praying and implementing house-hold rules which comply to their religion. It is also enforced through their religious rites such as baptism, confirmation, etc.

Implementing rules in the household is based on their religion, according to the participants. Rules such as no cursing in the house and respecting your elders may be common rules, although these rules for this certain household are based on their religion and beliefs of what is right and wrong.

Household decisions in the family which revolve around religion are done for financial reasons as well as implementing rules. The family gives to charity and offers their tithes every week at church.

Religion is said to be introduced to the children of their family immediately. The children are most of the time named after saints or other names with biblical meanings. Their introduction to their religion is made official through Baptism and is continued throughout their whole childhood and teenage years through Sunday school and prayers in the family.

Conclusion

Heyrman (2008) states that religion in Protestant and Catholic cultures influence child-rearing practices. This plays a big role in the family. Religion plays an important role in the subjects’ family and is not just a belief, it is embodied in their culture and is a reflection of who they are as a family as well as individuals. The concepts of child-rearing are practiced in their family through religion and their beliefs. Most of their decisions in the household revolve around their religion, most of the time probably unconsciously. Before this interview was conducted, the idea of religion in the family seemed to have been a lost culture in America. However, there are many families still involved in religious practices. The role of religion in the participants’ family seems to be of a strong structure and will not be lost in time.

Appendix

Questionnaire

  1. How important a role does religion play in your family?
  2. What are religious activities or practices you participate in as a whole family?
  3. How does religion affect the structure of your family?
  4. How long has this religion been present throughout the generations in your family?
  5. What are the methods of passing this religion down from generation to generation?
  6. How do you use religion in implementing certain rules in the household?
  7. What types of household decisions revolve around religion for your family?
  8. At what age is religion introduced to children of your family?

References

Family oriented principles. (2009, November 18). Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/14658-family-oriented-principles/

Heyrman, C.L. (2008, March). Religion, women, and the family in early America. Retrieved from http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/tserve/eighteen/ekeyinfo/erelwom.htm

Keister, L. (2008). Conservative Protestants and Wealth: How Religion Perpetuates Asset Poverty. American Journal of Sociology. 113(5);1237-1271.

Pavone, F. (n.d.). A reflection on how families find their identity and strength in religion. Retrieved from http://www.priestsforlife.org/articles/fmrelig.html

Religion. (2010). Wikipedia.org. Retrieved September 28, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion

Religion and family composition. (2010). Retrieved from http://family.jrank.org/pages/1380/Religion.html

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