Title

A team field study of the appeal of megachurches: Identifying, framing, and solving personal issues

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-1-2010

Abstract

Through an ongoing team fieldwork project that entails ethnographic observations and interviews at multiple research sites in southern California, this study seeks an understanding of the growth of contemporary megachurches by examining how they go about the business of attracting new members and retaining old ones. In this article, we focus on how the megachurches assist members in addressing personal issues through diagnostic and prognostic framing within large congregational gatherings and problem-oriented small groups. These processes are elaborated through the intensive examination of a small group dealing with 'the problem of same-sex attraction'. The study explains the appeal of megachurches at two levels: for individuals, megachurches sharpen and fine-tune an expanding array of personal problems or issues; and, at the organizational and institutional level, they have become major players in the self-help market. © The Author(s), 2010.

DOI

10.1177/1466138109347006

First Page

165

Last Page

188

Volume

11

Issue

1

Publication Title

Ethnography

ISSN

14661381

Comments

At the time of publication, James E. Stobaugh was affiliated with University of California, Irvine.

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