Social networks in religion

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Social networks in religion

In depression and surgical procedures, the effects of the social network in the religious context were investigated (Contrada, Idler, Goyal, Cather, Rafalson & Krause, 2004), showing positive consequences in the patients studied. People who are linked to religious groups during the surgical process (preoperative and postoperative) have the support of people and their own faith, having more comfortable and faster recovery effects.

In Brazil, studies involving social network and religion are also being carried out. Among them, we find those performed by Burity (2004) and Scheunmann and Hoch (2003). In Burity's text, the author discusses the social function that the religious context provides, finding that religious motivation is an important determinant in social assistance and militancy actions. On the other hand, religious motivation was also decisive for poor people, when it comes to facing the conditions of poverty in which they live.

Faith as a support in personal crises is studied by Hoch (2003). For the author, having a broad base of psychological and spiritual center provides a support network. When people are shaken in their spiritual dimension, there may be a departure from beliefs and a loss of belief in values. However, on other occasions what happens is just the opposite. In times of crisis, people can have a beneficial experience that allows them to change their lives.

In our daily lives we can see that the different religious congregations, especially the evangelical ones, have become a source of support to solve the crises. We observed several means of communication that, not only are transmitters of faith and support, but also serve as forms of expression of pain and comfort (Brasil, 2003). Often these networks are virtual, in the sense that people share the pain, relief and emancipation of faith without the need for presence or physical contact. Through radio, the Internet and TV, people connect, sharing feathers and comforts.

In disease processes the chains of prayer appear. They are chains that unite people who share a faith and are bound by it. We can think that since faith is one of the most abstract supports, it facilitates in people this conformation of invisible and solid networks.

Social networks in the community

Perhaps with a focus on the community context and where we find extensive studies on social networks. Of this theme we find several books published, primarily in the Spanish language. We could think that, just as in the practice of social psychologists the theory of community psychology arises, it is also from the practice and research that is theorized about social networks.

Perhaps because the neediest communities need more attention from workers and professionals in the social, human and health sciences, the questioning around social networks is constant. One of the most studied functions is support, which has been prioritized in the study of communities, observing their influence in several dimensions of community development, such as education, health, citizens' rights, collaboration, and civil responsibility.

We found that one of the focuses where the social worker focuses his work is with the child, family and adolescence. The work developed by Sanicola (1996) offers a proposal for horizontalizing responsibility towards the well-being of children and their families. In this proposal, he questions the state's verticality with regard to the protection of minors who, when thinking about their protection, sometimes what is done is to maintain the violent agendas, which is within the family.

Thus, the author proposes that we study the importance of community organization as a way of producing socio-psychological well-being of its members and work around strengthening links between popular knowledge and scientific knowledge, through health professionals, education, the judiciary, community residents and finally public policies aimed at the family, children and adolescents.

In the same direction of serving the child and his family, Chadi (2000) addressed the relationship between the primary network, the secondary network and the institutional network. In her work, she uses the concept of Bronfenbrenner (1979-1987) on the contexts of child development: microsystem formed by the family, mesosystem constituted by the personal social network and the macrosystem in which expanded social networks are found, which the author, as a whole , interprets it as a network map.

Considering that social work aims to reach a broad social context, Chadi (2000) focuses his activity on creating bonds that positively link the child, his family, the extended social context and the institutions that assist the family system. In his proposal for social networking, he considers that it is not enough to evaluate only the primary, secondary and institutional resources that the community has, but it is necessary to mobilize the means of contact between each member of the network, in order to reorganize the context in which that the child operates, in such a way that the communication bridges are reordered.

Associated with the study of social networks, we are faced with the questioning of social movements, which is a focus of study in which State-Community relations are problematized and ways of new relationships and social self-organization are proposed. Furthermore, we note that another of the concerns of social professionals (social-community psychologists, social workers, sociologists, anthropologists, and educators, among others) revolves around self-management.

Social movements have been recognized in the western world since the mid-1960s, 1968 being an emblematic date in which student movements, new anti-feminist movements, alternative urban movements, anti-nuclear movements, ecological movements are organized ( later consolidated as the Green Party) and the new pacifist movements (Riechmann & Fernández, 1994). In reality, these movements that started in small groups, geographically delimited, have been expanded all over the world, creating ever wider networks. Despite this large network, local movements continue to create regional networks with characteristics specific to the cultures in which they are based. In this sense, too, following the concept mentioned earlier, we can understand that these local movements are networks that, globally, constitute a network of networks.

In this same scope of investigation, we find the work of Pucci (1998), who together with an urban settlement community developed a proposal to assist community self-management. The author discusses the processes of socio-spatial segregation that take place in Latin American cities. She focuses her study on neighborhoods in the periphery, which emerge as pockets of misery. Based on these observations, she works on the basis of community self-management aiming to improve popular settlements using reflection on the problematization of public policies, providing spaces for community participation.

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