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|Title:||Minority Churches Among Japanese Canadians: A Sociological Study|
|Authors:||Mullins, Richardson Mark|
|Abstract:||<p>This dissertation elaborates and applies the subtypology of minority churches initially designed by Millett (1969) for the study of religion in Canada. The utility of this framework for comparative sociological research was considered through an empirical analysis of the two largest minority church organizations within the Japanese Canadian community: the "foreign~oriented" Buddhist Churches of Canada (BCC) with 18 congregations, and the "nativeoriented" Japanese United Church Conference (JUCC) with 11 congregations. From a review of the literature on religion and ethnicity, two central questions were identified to provide the orientation for this study: (1) Are Japanese minority churches effective agents of cultural preservation in Canadian society? or (2) Does the assimilation process force Japanese churches to de-ethnicize and accommodate to the acculturated generations for organizational survival? The significance of Millett's sub-typology for organizational analysis was explored in relation to these key issues. In comparing the effectiveness of these minority churches as social forces for ethnic persistence, it was hypothesized that the foreign-oriented BCC would have shown a greater concern to maintain ethnicity than the native-oriented JUCC. On the issue of organizational change, it was hypothesized that the native-oriented JUCC would have been better able to make adaptations for the acculturated generations than the foreign-oriented BCC. Although the divergent patterns of ethnic persistence and organizational adaptation suggested by the sub-typology were only partially supported by the data, the comparative analysis did demonstrate its heuristic value. The typology draws attention to important factors which should be recognized in the study of ethnic religious organizations. The character of the "administrative reference group" and the different "membership orientations" are clearly significant variables influencing the course of minority church evolution. This dissertation concludes that minority churches are most accurately viewed as transitional organizations. The organizational dilemmas confronting both the BCC and JUCC as a result of advanced assimilation indicate that in most cases these churches face either organizational dissolution or transformation into multi-ethnic congregations within another generation. The assimilation of Japanese in Canada and the precarious future of most minority churches casts serious doubt upon the long-term survival of ethnic subcultures in Canadian society.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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