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Religion and Social Problems: A New Theoretical Perspective

Hjelm, T; (2009) Religion and Social Problems: A New Theoretical Perspective. In: The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Religion.

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© Oxford University Press 2009, 2011. All rights reserved. While the relationship between religion and social issues has begun to attract a good deal of interest from researchers in recent years, it is without much theoretical guidance in the way of social-problem theory. This is a gap that this article attempts to fill. The discussion focuses on the following issues: social problems as claimsmaking activities; how religions construct solutions to social problems; and how religion itself is constructed as a social problem and how this impacts on the way religion is perceived. It also holds that in addition to being a solid field of inquiry in itself, the study of religion and social problems also works as a prism through which many other central problems in sociology of religion - and sociology in general - can be examined.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Religion and Social Problems: A New Theoretical Perspective
ISBN-13: 9780191577253
DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199588961.013.0052
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/73223
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