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Title: Religion and Spirituality at Princeton University: how young adults develop their religious and spiritual identities in college. Case studies at Princeton University
Authors: Schaer, Elyana
Advisors: Hamilton, Tod
Department: Sociology
Class Year: 2020
Abstract: In this study, I investigate how the institutional, social, and academic environment at Princeton University shape student’s religious identity and beliefs during their undergraduate education. In semi-structured interviews with 17 3rd and 4th year undergraduate students at Princeton University, I ask students questions about their religious background before Princeton University and how the experiences with the Princeton community influenced their beliefs and religious identity. Although an institution-specific study, the interviews provide insight into the aspects of religion and spirituality that young adults are drawn to in the 21st century, such as a sense of community, seeing other people leading a life of example, structure, and shared traditions, music, and a life imbued with purpose. The interviews also offered several accounts of positive experiences for students who came to university with a negative attitude towards religion and, through contact with students of faith, gained a deeper appreciation for religious devotion and, in response, re-evaluated their own religious and spiritual identity.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Sociology, 1954-2023

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