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Culture, Religion and Spirituality in Coping: The Example of Cancer patients in Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2006 (English)Book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Recent research has shown significant associations (negative and positive) between religious and spiritual factors and mental health. Much of this research, however, has been conducted in the US, where religion is an integrated part of most people’s lives. Other studies on religious and spiritually oriented coping conducted outside the US have also focused on religious people. Yet many are non-believers, and many believers do not consider themselves religious, i.e. religion is not an important part of their life. There are also societies in which the dominant culture and ways of thinking dismiss the role of religion in people’s lives. Research on religious coping rarely takes these people into consideration. This book is based on a research project aimed at identifying the religious and spiritually oriented coping methods used by cancer patients in Sweden as an example of societies where religion is not an integrated part of the social life of individuals. The empirical data for the study were based on interviews with cancer patients. Fifty-one interviews were conducted in various parts of Sweden with patients suffering from different types of cancer. The chosen method was semi-structured interviews. Based on the study, the book discusses the impact of rationalism, individualism, secularism, natural romanticism and a tendency toward spirituality rather than religiosity in Swedish ways of thinking on the choice of coping methods among informants. Concerning the use of religious and spiritually oriented methods by the Swedish informants, we learn that gaining control over the situation is a very important coping strategy among Swedish informants. The informants show a strong tendency toward relying primarily on themselves for solving problems related to their disease. Receiving help from other sources, among others God or a supreme power, seems to primarily be a way to gain more power to help oneself, as opposed to passively waiting for a miracle. For the informants, thinking about spiritual matters and spiritual connection seems to be more important than participating in religious rituals and activities. Turning to nature as a sacred and available resource is a coping method that all informants have used, regardless of their outlook on God, their religion and philosophy of life or their age and gender.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2006. , p. 197
Series
Studia Sociologica Upsaliensia, ISSN 0585-5551 ; 53
Keywords [en]
religion, spirituality, coping, coping styles, coping methods, cultural perspective in coping
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-6975ISBN: 91-554-6589-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-6975DiVA, id: diva2:173404
Available from: 2006-05-19 Created: 2006-05-19 Last updated: 2012-06-29Bibliographically approved

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Ahmadi, Fereshteh

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Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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