Title

Dismantling the Battle Plan: An In-Depth Study of the Practices of the Salvation Army

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2005

Publication Source

Michigan Sociological Review

Volume

19

Inclusive pages

63-85

ISBN/ISSN

19347111

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

The Salvation Army is one of the largest social charities in America today, and it is widely accepted that the Salvation Army does a tremendous amount of positive work to help the poor and those in need of assistance. However, it has been suggested that the Salvation Army is not simply a benign social charity, but rather is a religious sect which engages in various moral entrepreneurial activities for its own economic and political benefit while simultaneously discriminating against its own employees. The purpose of this exploratory study will be to critically examine how the Salvation Army treats those persons who seek its assistance. One Salvation Army officer and seven men who were clients in a Midwestern Salvation Army detox center were qualitatively interviewed as part of this study. A content analysis of the interviews revealed that respondents were being used as a labor pool for Salvation Army economic activities and that respondents felt coerced to accept the Christian faith during their time with the Salvation Army.

Disciplines

Sociology

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