American International Journal of Social Science

ISSN 2325-4149(Print), ISSN 2325-4165(Online) DIO: 10.30845/aijss

“Thy People Shall Be My People”: Assimilation and Diffusion among Modern Day Missionaries
Reed L. Welch, Jenifer Kunz

Social science has long been interested in understanding culture and the spread and influence of one culture to another. In the modern era with advancements in travel and communication, the rapid rate in which culture is diffused is unprecedented. This study examines the recent interactions between 682 former missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) and the countries in which they once served and finds that meaningful diffusion and assimilation took place among these missionaries. Although many studies have examined the influence of Christian missionaries on different cultures and the affect these cultures had on the missionaries, these studies focused on earlier times and with missionaries serving longer than LDS missionaries. With approximately 85,000 LDS missionaries currently serving throughout the world, it is important to understand what affects their experiences with different cultures and people will have on them and on the people they serve.

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