Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Belief and behavior: Exploring the loss of ethnic identity among nineteenth-century Scandinavian Mormon converts in Sanpete County, Utah
by Simmons, Kistie, M.A., Prescott College, 2007, 111; 1453081
Abstract (Summary)

The nineteenth-century theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints required that members embrace a unique Mormon identity which linked all aspects of life and required gathering in "Zion," Utah, to separate the "Saints" from the rest of the world. Many new members resided in Britain and the Scandinavian countries; therefore, these converts were required to emigrate from their homelands to Utah. Upon arrival, Church leaders assigned thousands of Scandinavian emigrants to Sanpete County, Utah creating communities populated with virtually all Scandinavian converts. While separated by over one hundred miles from Church headquarters in Salt Lake City, the Scandinavian emigrants obeyed Mormon leaders' directives and within a generation effectively suppressed their European languages and culture. After providing contextual information regarding the nineteenth-century Mormon collective lifestyle and nineteenth-century immigration experience of both non-Mormons and Mormon emigrants, this thesis presents the results from an examination of nineteenth-century Mormon Scandinavian emigrant's personal histories, folk stories, and nineteenth-century Utah newspaper reports demonstrating little evidence of Scandinavian cultural persistence in the everyday lives of nineteenth-century first-generation Scandinavian Mormon converts in Sanpete County, Utah.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Aldern, Jared
Commitee: Clingan, Joan, Hall, Nicholas S.
School: Prescott College
Department: Humanities
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 46/06M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: American history, Minority & ethnic groups, Sociology, Social structure
Keywords: Immigration and assimilation, Mormon studies, Nineteenth-century Mormon history, Nineteenth-century Scandinavian Mormons
Publication Number: 1453081
ISBN: 978-0-549-54122-6
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