Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Rural Sociology

First Advisor

Donna J. Hess


Of Another World is an account of how the Jehovah's Witnesses recruit new members and retain these converts in the face of a skeptical world. The study also attempts to advance a theoretical model toward a generic and generalized account for conversion to a group with a devalued religious perspective. The model, developed by John Lofland in his study of the members of the Unification Church, appears with some modification, to be generalizable to the Jehovah's Witnesses. After modification, the model is still applicable to members of the Unification Church. It is argued that the social characteristics of a group are more important in the conversion process than in the group's message.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Jehovah's Witnesses
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania
Unification Church
Religion and sociology




South Dakota State University