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Title: The Spiritual Side of “Sin City”: The Spiritual Community and Meetup Culture in Las Vegas
Authors: Marek, Casey
Advisors: Wuthnow, Robert
Department: Sociology
Class Year: 2013
Abstract: Why are spiritual practitioners attracted to Las Vegas despite the city’s notoriety for debauchery and immorality? How do they shape their spiritual identities in relation to past religious histories and their new community of similarly-minded others? I propose the religious diversity and tolerance in Las Vegas attract people from less-liberal areas. The Internet has aided in drawing spiritual seekers together to satisfy their desire for a sense of belonging but still requires an active seeking. Data comes from 29 interviews with Las Vegas spiritual practitioners, conducted by phone and email. Practitioners established identities by differentiating their faith from the religions of past communities to demonstrate genuine commitment. However, interviewees’ upbringings influenced which practices they adopted, with practitioners picking those that recreated similar feelings to those that rituals from the past had. The data supports the theory that individuals look for a community of similar-others to create personal identities.
Extent: 106 pages
Access Restrictions: Walk-in Access. This thesis can only be viewed on computer terminals at the Mudd Manuscript Library.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Sociology, 1954-2020

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