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An Alternative Model for Research on Catholic Education

Kenneth Westhues
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 77, No. 2 (Sep., 1971), pp. 279-292
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2776867
Page Count: 14
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
An Alternative Model for Research on Catholic Education
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Abstract

Most of the research that has been done on Catholic education has utilized survey methods in the study of attitudes toward and effects of Catholic schools; individual Catholic laymen or schoolchildren have been the objects of analysis, and the orientation has been instrumentalist. An alternative model is suggested as a means of answering questions about the parochial school system itself; this orientation is more nomothetic than instrumentalist. The basic hypothesis, rooted in open-systems theory of organization, is that Catholic education arises out of a perception, on the part of the Roman Catholic church, of an environment threatening to itself. This hypothesis is elaborated in terms of four variables: minority position, ethnicity, hotility of environment, and modernization. Demographic and socioeconomic data are used to test the hypotheses, with states as units of analysis; correlation and regression are the analytic techniques. With some modifications, the results of the analysis support the organizational model.

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