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Becoming a World-Saver: A Theory of Conversion to a Deviant Perspective

John Lofland and Rodney Stark
American Sociological Review
Vol. 30, No. 6 (Dec., 1965), pp. 862-875
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2090965
Page Count: 14
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Becoming a World-Saver: A Theory of Conversion to a Deviant Perspective
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Abstract

Materials derived from observation of a West Coast millenarian cult are employed to develop a "value-added" model of the conditions under which conversion occurs. For conversion a person must experience, within a religious problem-solving perspective, enduring, acutely-felt tensions that lead him to define himself as a religious seeker; he must encounter the cult at a turning point in his life; within the cult an affective bond must be formed (or pre-exist) and any extra-cult attachments, neutralized; and there he must be exposed to intensive interaction if he is to become a "deployable agent."

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