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The Making of Working-Class Religion$
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Matthew Pehl

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040429

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040429.001.0001

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Race and the Remaking of Religious Consciousness

Race and the Remaking of Religious Consciousness

(p.183) 6. Race and the Remaking of Religious Consciousness
The Making of Working-Class Religion

Matthew Pehl

University of Illinois Press

This chapter studies the extent to which race displaced class in the religious consciousness of the 1960s-era generation. The culture of worker religion formed in the 1930s in tandem with the labor question, a moment when the rights of workers, the social role of labor unions, and the expansion of a social safety net dominated political discourse. By the early 1960s, the labor question no longer commanded the same urgency; indeed, for many Americans, the issue had largely been settled since the mid-1940s. Moreover, questions about the rights of workers or the role of unions were waning precisely at the moment that the quest for African American equality emerged as the defining domestic political question of the day.

Keywords:   religious consciousness, worker religion, labor question, labor unions, African American equality

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