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Ritual Participation, Sense of Community, and Social Well-Being: A Study of Seva in the Sikh Community

Abstract

The study examined the impact of frequency of ritual participation on sense of community and social well-being of a minority community in India, the Sikhs. We looked at a unique ritualistic practice of the Sikhs, seva. Rituals are known to contribute toward social solidarity and cohesion as well as physical and mental well-being. In particular for a minority community, rituals help group members establish and maintain strong community networks and a unique group identity. A total of 156 members of the Sikh community (85 males; 71 females) participated in the study. Frequency of ritual participation was positively related with social well-being and sense of community. Furthermore, sense of community was found to mediate the effect of frequency of ritual participation on social well-being. Results are discussed in the light of the importance of studying rituals in minority groups, the frequency of participation in a ritual activity and the importance of addressing social well-being in ritual research.

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Correspondence to Khushbeen Kaur Sohi.

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Sohi, K.K., Singh, P. & Bopanna, K. Ritual Participation, Sense of Community, and Social Well-Being: A Study of Seva in the Sikh Community. J Relig Health 57, 2066–2078 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-017-0424-y

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Keywords

  • Rituals
  • Sikh
  • Seva
  • Sense of community
  • Social well-being