Date of Award:

1988

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology

Department name when degree awarded

Sociology

Advisor/Chair:

Brian L. Pitcher

Abstract

The purpose of this research has been to study contemporary Mormon migration in the United States. The underlying assumption of the research was that Utah Mormons are culturally and normatively different from Mormons living elsewhere. Research was carried out in two stages. The first stage was a description of migration streams between four designated regions, i.e. Utah, states adjacent to Utah, other Western states, and the remaining Other states. This stage also determined the proportion of return migration in each stream. It provides initial evidence of the cultural pull of Utah for Mormons.

The second stage was a multivariate analysis of predictors of Mormon return migration in the United States between 1976 and 1981. A theoretical framework of measures of cultural and religious attachment (within the conceptualization of location-specific capital) and status and distance migration differentials was used. Seven models were tested. Each model looked at particular migration directions, i.e. to Utah, to regions other than Utah, from Utah, two models of return to Utah, and two models of return to regions other than Utah.

Findings show that migration to regions other than Utah are predicted better by predominantly socioeconomic stat us variables. destination But migration involving Utah as an origin or also require measures of cultural and/or religious commitment as well. These findings tend to support the conclusion that the intensity of cultural location-specific capital of Utah, as the Mormon cultural core, does influence the type and magnitude of Mormon migration.

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