First published in 1988, this work was the product of extensive fieldwork in two evangelical communities. This in-depth ethnographic study focuses on the meaning systems, organizational structures and the daily lives of the people Susan D. Rose encountered.
The study is centred around Christian schooling as a method of socialisation. Tracing the rise of evangelicalism and the development of the Christian School Movement in the latter half of the twentieth century, it examines the kinds of educational alternatives evangelicals have structured for their children. Moving beyond the issue of schooling itself, it analyses the interactions among schooling, ideology, economic structures and the nature of work in contemporary American society, and explores how people relate to one another within the church-family-school network.
It addresses the provocative question of why evangelicalism, a self-proclaimed conservative, reactionary movement, held so much appeal for so many Americans at the time of publication. This work will be of particular interest to those studying education and religion and education in the U. S. A.
The Christian School Movement, inter-denominational and Protestant, is the fastest growing sector of private education in the United States, we're told here. In an instructive, in-depth look at two evangelical Christian fellowships and schools in upstate New YorkLakehaven and Covenantsociologist Rose examines why alternatives to the public school system are attractive to those who believe that ``urban elites'' are altering the American landscape of traditional values. An extension of the New Right polity, itself a product of aversion to the turbulence of the '60s and '70s, conservative groups support a cultural return to the primacy of family, its members governed by fundamentalist morality, according to the author. Focusing on two different groups who are ``negotiating their way in the modern world,'' this balanced study acknowledges the innovative as well as the reactionary aspects of evangelism and its paradoxical role in contemporary America.