Divine Hierarchies: Class in American Religion and Religious by Sean McCloud

By Sean McCloud

Putting the ignored factor of sophistication again into the examine and knowing of faith, Sean McCloud reconsiders the which means of sophistication in modern global. greater than a standing grounded in fabric stipulations, says McCloud, category additionally involves relationships, identifications, limitations, meanings, energy, and our such a lot ingrained behavior of brain and physique. He demonstrates that using classification as an analytical instrument that cuts throughout variables corresponding to creed, race, ethnicity, and gender can light up American spiritual lifestyles in exceptional methods.

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Sample text

The image of the poor and/or working-class individual as fat, loud, and emotional may seem more plausible than imagining the richest Americans the same way. Likewise, envisioning an upper-class man enjoying a weekend of nascar, honky-tonk, and beer is as difficult for some as picturing a working-class man dining on French cuisine after a day of polo. The stereotypes have been fixed, the associations concretized. The external ascription of class onto religion in the United States has followed similar trajectories as Skeggs described above about general workingclass characterizations.

Marking the boundaries of socioeconomic differences, discourses on class ascribe and constrict the possible associations and characterizations attributed to particular groups and individuals who are identified as belonging to a specific class. The image of the poor and/or working-class individual as fat, loud, and emotional may seem more plausible than imagining the richest Americans the same way. Likewise, envisioning an upper-class man enjoying a weekend of nascar, honky-tonk, and beer is as difficult for some as picturing a working-class man dining on French cuisine after a day of polo.

This is exemplified in festival contests that grant awards to the best imitators of Baltimore waitresses’ clothing, hairstyles, makeup, and speech patterns. In such competitions, stereotyped simulations of workingclass excessiveness are rewarded. The louder, more colorful, and bigger-haired the contestant, the more likely she is to win. Pamela Perry’s study of white high school students similarly shows the unevenness of the power to represent. ”⁷³ In other words, white students consumed rap and hip-hop styles to co-opt the imposed stereotypes of blackness: toughness, coolness, and dangerousness.

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