Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


This study was undertaken to provide a framework for understanding the identity formation and experience of Latino Pentecostals. The exploration of Feminist Family Theory accompanied by Object Relations Theory provided two opportunities to appreciate the Latino Pentecostal experience. This study focuses on documenting the evolution of the Latino Pentecostal community in the United States and a description of the traditional aspects of this faith group in terms of practice of Spirit Baptism and traits as religious fundamentalists, collectivistic, and social activists. The application of a Feminist Family Theory lens provides a perspective on opening the conversation to dismantle the dominant discourse and unearth the subjugated story of the Latino Pentecostals. Object Relations Theory provides a frame for exploring the internalized experience of Latino Pentecostals in relation to their external experience. The major points of the discussion include the notion that much of the Latino Pentecostal tradition is based in experience rather than rules and religiously structured guidelines to practice. The experiential nature of Latino Pentecostalism leaves much as indefinable. The indefinable nature of the experience leaves a lot of ambiguity. The ambiguity of the experience is well complimented by the Feminist Family Theory in that it is a lens through which one works rather than a set of treatment modalities. Object Relations Theory also leaves room for the individual experience providing a theoretical frame for which to explore the treatment of Latino Pentecostals.


Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2008. iii, 47 p. Includes bibliographical references (p. 46-47)