Kvalitet i livslånga tjänsterelationer Svenska kyrkan ur tjänsteteoretiskt och religionssociologiskt perspektiv
Sammanfattning: The aim of this thesis is to clarify the social mechanisms that affect peoples relationships with the Church of Sweden. Interest is primarily focused on the majority of the Swedish population who belong to the Church of Sweden, but who rarely make use of its services. This aim is accomplished in two ways. Firstly through a study of the ways in which church members understand and evaluate their relationships to the church and the services provided by the church, which they have made use of. Secondly through applying and testing service theoretical concepts in the church context, and relating this to sociological theory of religion. This is discussed on three levels. On a societal macro level changes in religion are discussed as part of the general changes from agricultural via industrial to a service society. On an organisational mezzo level the Church of Sweden is analysed as a service-providing organisation. The micro level is analysed through a qualitative interview study with 29 strategically chosen individuals.
The theoretical analysis and empirical results show that the relationship between individuals and the Church of Sweden can be interpreted as a lifelong service relationship. The individual uses the services of the church on few, but from the perspective of the individuals lifetime, meaningful occasions. The perceived quality in these service meetings interacts with the perceived quality in the lifelong relationship with the church. Even the church relationship itself can be understood as a value creating service through the fact that it mediates relationships to collective and transcendental values and thereby provides security and a sense of coherence
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