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Lecture 6

FRHD 1020 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Randall Collins, Megachurch, Focus Group

Family Relations and Human Development
Course Code
FRHD 1020
Shayna Sparling

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Social Interactions and religion- the Megachurch
midterm feb 5th
Research methods- Focus group and survey
Their question- Why do people attend and stay in mega churches, and how do they experience worship?
Their argument- powerful, leaves them energized and spiritual, express the need to have more of that
feeling "god is like a drug"
Wellman et al utilize "Interaction Ritual Chain" theory, invented by Randall Collins
an interactions ritual is any social interaction between two or more people
everyone seeks emotional energy from social interactions
EE sense of confidence, enthusiasm and motivation for all subsequent interactions and life tasks
some interaction rituals produce a lot of EE those taking part receive that EE and take it with
them to their next interactions
and some people have more EE than others
What affects how much EE a social interaction produces
the sheer physical presence of others
shared understanding of group symbols
shared focus on attention
"energy stars" can focus people's attention on other things
Interaction rituals in religious events (unlike non-religious interactions) leave people with the belief that
the EE comes from God
The findings of Wellman et al
in regards to bodily assembly , cameras plus music enhance peoples sense of others emotional reactions
"There is nothing more powerful than when 10,000 or 11,000 people are singing at one time"
some brought "hysterical tears"
the pastors as "energy stars"
Evidence of emotional energy?
in the frequency of certain kinds of words that respondents used:
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