About the Webinar:
We examine the linkage between religious involvement and life satisfaction among adults in contemporary China, a largely non-religious society. Using data from the China Family Panel Studies (2012, 2014 and 2016), we conduct latent class analysis by using four indicators of religious involvement, including membership of religious groups, types of religion, frequency of participation, and evaluation of the importance of religion in life. We classify the sample into four latent classes: (a) the pure non-religious, (b) the non-religious, but with some spirituality, (c) Chinese religion adherent, and (d) organized religion adherent. Results from our fixed-effect models show that Chinese-religion and organized-religion adherents have higher levels of life satisfaction than those with no religious beliefs. Moreover, the disadvantaged groups benefit more from religious involvement in China, as evidenced by the stronger positive effect of religious adherence found among rural residents and individuals in the lowest income quartile. We discuss the benefits of religion both in terms of its public/social and private/intrinsic aspects and situate our findings in the larger social context of China.
About the Speaker:
Feinian Chen is Professor of Sociology and a faculty associate at the Maryland Population Research Center at the University of Maryland. She received her PhD in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2001 and was trained in social demography at the Carolina Population Center. Her research crosscuts a range of areas in demography, family sociology, gender, aging, and quantitative methodology. Her main research interests include women’s work and family, intergenerational relations, population aging and health. Her work has been published in the American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Demography, Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Journal of Marriage and Family, and Sociological Methods and Research. Her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Hewlett Foundation. She is actively engaged in research in family transitions, gender dynamics, and their health implications in the diverse contexts of China, India, the Philippines, and the U.S.