The Trinity – God, Federation, and Community: A Mixed-Methodological Analysis of Religion and Ethnicity among the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia

Angela Cowser, Sandra L. Barnes

Abstract


How are religious involvement and community-mobilizing related for poor Namibian women? This mixed - methodological study examines the influence of ethnicity, attitudinal, and behavioral traits on religious affiliation and related experiences for 258 female members of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia, a network of neighborhood-based savings groups that attempts to provide affordable housing and related infrastructure services to poor women. In addition to its practical benefits, we consider whether the Federation represents a proxy-church for members. We assess the following research questions: With which churches are Federation women affiliated? Do their ethnicities or views and decisions about the Federation affect their religious ties? Do results suggest that the Federation provides outcomes commonly associated with churches? Results based on statistical and content analyses illustrate differences in religious affiliation and experiential variations based on ethnicity as well as church-like benefits of Federation involvement.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jsr.v11i1.16387

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