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Clergy Attitudes Toward Deindustrialization in Youngstown, Ohio: Religion and the Tofflerian Socioeconomic Wave Model

Doctor of Philosophy (D.Phil.)

Social Research (Religion and Society Studies)
Oxford Graduate School (2007)

ABSTRACT

Youngstown, Ohio faced an economic crisis in 2007 similar to a crisis the city faced thirty years earlier in 1977.  The research explored the difference in attitudes between clergy from denominations that were involved in the 1977 Youngstown steel crisis through affiliation with the Ecumenical Coalition of the Mahoning Valley, and clergy from denominations that were unaffiliated with the Coalition in 1977.  The primary research question was:  How did the attitudes of clergy toward deindustrialization in 2007 differ between denominations affiliated with the 1977 Ecumenical Coalition of the Mahoning Valley and denominations that were unaffiliated with the with the 1977 Ecumenical Coalition of the Mahoning Valley?

The Religious Attitudes Toward Deindustrialization survey was developed to assess the subscale values of Second and Third Wave attitudes according to the Tofflerian model: attitudes toward community, activism, justice, individuality, piety, and charity.  A static group comparison research design was utilized.  The theoretical framework and latent variables were derived from a Literature Review.  Eight hypotheses and seven corollaries were developed.  The hypotheses included the dependent latent variables of the survey compared by dichotomizing the groups and engaging the independent demographic variables of the survey.

The survey was administered to a population of 129 churches in the city of Youngstown.  The Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U procedures were applied to test for significant difference for the eight null hypotheses and seven null corollaries.  Four of the eight null hypotheses were rejected and one of the seven null corollaries was rejected.  Conclusions and implications were drawn from the findings of the statistical analysis of the null hypotheses, including unexpected similarities between the ways in which Mainline Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Evangelicals viewed socioeconomic crisis related to deindustrialization.  No significant difference was found between the way in which the groups viewed deindustrialization as an inevitable aspect of social evolution and no significant difference was found between the ways in which the groups viewed justice for workers affected by downsizing.  Some significant differences were found between the groups by engaging the other variables of the research.

Religious Attitudes Toward Deindustrialization Survey

Research Hypotheses

  • Null Hypothesis 1 (Ho1).  Religious Attitudes Toward Deindustrialization second wave subscale values were not significantly higher among clergy of denominations that were affiliated with the Ecumenical Coalition of 1977 than among denominations that were unaffiliated with the Coalition.
  • Null Hypothesis 2 (Ho2).  Religious Attitudes Toward Deindustrialization third wave subscale values were not significantly higher among clergy of denominations that were unaffiliated with the Ecumenical Coalition of 1977 than clergy of denominations that affiliated with the Coalition.
  • Null Corollary 2a (Co2a).  Religious Attitudes Toward Deindustrialization third wave subscale values were not significantly higher among clergy of predominantly white-collar congregations than among clergy of predominantly blue-collar congregations.
  • Null Hypothesis 3 (Ho3).  Religious Attitudes Toward Deindustrialization justice subscale values were not higher among clergy of denominations that were affiliated with the Ecumenical Coalition of 1977 than among clergy of denominations that were unaffiliated with the Coalition.
  • Null Corollary 3a (Co3a).  Religious Attitudes Toward Deindustrialization justice subscale values were higher among clergy of predominantly blue-collar congregations than among clergy of predominantly white-collar congregations.
  • Null Corollary 3b (Co3b).  Religious Attitudes Toward Deindustrialization justice subscale values were not higher among clergy who were personally involved in the Ecumenical Coalition of 1977 than among clergy who did not engage in the Ecumenical Coalition of 1977.
  • Null Corollary 3c (Co3c).  There was no significant difference in Religious Attitudes Toward Deindustrialization justice subscale values between clergy who served urban churches, suburban churches, and rural churches.
  • Null Hypothesis 4 (Ho4).  Religious Attitudes Toward Deindustrialization charity subscale values were not significantly higher among clergy of denominations that were unaffiliated with the Ecumenical Coalition of 1977 than among denominations that were unaffiliated with the Coalition.
  • Null Corollary 4a (Co4a).  There was no significant difference in the Religious Attitudes Toward Deindustrialization charity subscale values between clergy of congregations that financially supported workers affected by downsizing and clergy who did not financially support workers affected by downsizing.
  • Null Corollary 4b (Ho4b).  There was no significant difference in Religious Attitudes Toward Deindustrialization charity subscale values between clergy who served urban churches, suburban churches, and rural churches.
  • Null Hypothesis 5 (Ho5).  Religious Attitudes Toward Deindustrialization personal piety subscale values were not significantly higher among clergy of denominations that were unaffiliated with the Ecumenical Coalition of 1977 than among denominations that were affiliated with the Coalition.
  • Null Hypothesis 6 (Ho6). Religious Attitudes Toward Deindustrialization activism subscale values were not higher among clergy of denominations that were affiliated with the Ecumenical Coalition of 1977 than among clergy of denominations that were unaffiliated.
  • Null Corollary 6a(Co6a).  There was no significant difference in Religious Attitudes Toward Deindustrialization activism subscale values between clergy who were personally involved in the Ecumenical Coalition of 1977 and clergy who did not engage in the Ecumenical Coalition of 1977.
  • Null Hypothesis 7 (Ho7).  Survey of Religious Attitudes Toward
    deindustrialization community subscale values were not higher among    clergy of denominations that were affiliated with the Ecumenical Coalition    of 1977 than among clergy of denominations that were unaffiliated.
  • Null Hypothesis 8 (Ho8 ).  Religious Attitudes Toward Deindustrialization individuality subscale values were not higher among clergy of denominations that were unaffiliated with the Ecumenical Coalition of 1977 than among clergy of denominations that were affiliated with the Coalition.

Summary of Research Results

Hypothesis

Procedure

p or q-Value

Dispositions

Ho1

Mann-Whitney U

.122

Failed to Reject

Ho2

Mann-Whitney U

.730

Failed to Reject

Co2a

Kruskal-Wallis

.1.176

Failed to Reject

Ho3

Mann-Whitney U

.269

Failed to Reject

Co3a

Kruskal-Wallis

.435

Failed to Reject

Co3b

Mann-Whitney U

.043

Null Rejected

Co3c

Kruskal-Wallis

.948

Failed to Reject

Ho4

Mann-Whitney U

.010

Null Rejected

Co4a

Mann-Whitney U

.989

Failed to Reject

Co4b

Kruskal-Wallis

1.482

Failed to Reject

Ho5

Mann-Whitney U

<.001

Null Rejected

Ho6

Mann-Whitney U

.040

Null Rejected

Co6a

Mann-Whitney U

.102

Failed to Reject

Ho7

Mann-Whitney U

.005

Null Rejected

Ho8

ann-Whitney U

.066

Failed to Reject