This thesis explores the roles of religion in incorporating immigrants from Latin America into the U.S., specifically examining the surfacing of cultural and structural hybrids. Thesis will also address how socio-spatial structures interact with immigrant religious institutions and practices. The research focuses on three different Christian congregations in Northeast Ohio and their various modes of incorporating Latino immigrants. Additionally, the research investigates the practices and experiences of an immigrant population in one rural region that reflect the important dynamics of popular religiosity and space. To obtain the data, several religious agents and Latino immigrant persons were interviewed, and detailed participant observation was conducted in religious services, spaces, and events. These study populations are explored through the lenses of current literature and theoretical frameworks on immigration and religion. The adaptations churches make to immigrants' cultural values and material needs resonate with scholarship under the New Paradigm sociology of religion. Subsequent stratifications emerge in these institutions around ethnicity, culture, and social space. The impacts of spatial conditions on immigrants' experiences elucidate the weaknesses of this Paradigm's theoretical claims by demonstrating the hybrid fluidity between secular and religious modes of incorporation. In particular, these experiences are explored through Bourdieu' s theory of practice, which explains the importance of social capital and structuring forces of habitus in this phenomenon. Following the research analyses, Thesis posits several implications for future research specifically in the fields of transnational and rural studies.


Hurst, Charles E.


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2007 Mark H. Bergen