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  1. Does Religion Buffer the Effects of Discrimination on Distress for Religious Minorities? The Case of Arab Americans

    Religiosity is well documented as a coping resource that protects against the effects of discrimination on distress, but little is known about the utility of religious minorities’ religiosity. This study investigates if religious resources buffer the effect of discrimination on distress for Arab Americans and if that relationship differs based on religious minority status.

  2. Religion and Sexual Behaviors: Understanding the Influence of Islamic Cultures and Religious Affiliation for Explaining Sex Outside of Marriage

    Social scientists have long been interested in how cultural and structural characteristics shape individuals’ actions. We investigate this relationship by examining how macro- and micro-level religious effects shape individuals’ reports of premarital and extramarital sex. We look at how identifying with one of the major world religions—Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, or Judaism—and living in a nation with a Muslim culture shape the likelihood of sex outside of marriage.

  3. How Religious Composition Around the World Differs between Younger and Older Populations

    This graphic shows differences in the religious composition of people around the world by age group. Religious change caused by demographic processes is more than a hypothetical future possibility. The consequences of demographic differences can be seen today by comparing the religious composition of younger and older populations.

  4. Public Concern about Terrorism: Fear, Worry, and Support for Anti-Muslim Policies

    In the era of 9/11, terrorist attacks occur with sufficient frequency and lethality to constitute a realistic threat to the well-being of the American public. Sensing this concern, politicians emphasize the threat of violent attacks to advance a platform of making public safety a priority. In this context, the authors assess the extent, sources, and emotional impact of the public’s concern about terrorism. On the basis of a national survey of 1,000 Americans, the authors examine levels of fear of a terrorist attack and worry about terrorism relative to other potential harms.

  5. Racial and Other Sociodemographic Disparities in Terrorism Sting Operations

    Previous research suggests a high prevalence of entrapment in post-9/11 terrorism sting operations, but it is unknown whether entrapment abuses are disproportionately targeted at specific racial/ethnic, religious, or socioeconomic groups. Drawing on Black’s theory of law, symbolic threat theory, and research on stereotypes, cognitive biases, and institutional incentives, the authors hypothesize that government agents and informants will use problematic tactics disproportionately against certain marginalized groups.

  6. Not by Bread Alone: Mobility Experiences, Religion, and Optimism about Future Mobility

    Americans are quite optimistic about their chances of upward mobility, but sometimes even they have their doubts. The authors examine how mobility experiences boost or dampen American optimism about mobility and how the relationship is connected to religion. The authors find that Americans whose subjective financial situations have recently worsened are less optimistic, whereas those whose situations have improved are more optimistic. Objective measures of mobility were not connected to optimism.

  7. Mental Health and the Role of Religious Context among Inmates in State and Federal Prisons: Results from a Multilevel Analysis

    Inmates confined to correctional institutions are exposed to stressors that induce psychological distress. One factor that may be important for inmate mental health is religion. Accordingly, scholars have examined the role of participation in religious activities on inmate mental health. Yet, the role of the religious concentration of prisons on inmate mental health remains unexamined, in spite of research showing that religious contexts impact adjustment to prison.
  8. Biblical Literalism Influences Perceptions of History as a Scientific Discipline

    Recent work on religious conservatives frequently finds biblical literalism to have a negative influence on individuals’ attitudes toward science. We present a science-related issue for which biblical literalism seems, at least on the surface, to have a more positive influence. Specifically, individuals expressing a literalist view of the Bible are more likely than those who view the Bible as a book of fables to say that the field of history is scientific.
  9. Worshiping across the Color Line: The Influence of Congregational Composition on Whites’ Friendship Networks and Racial Attitudes

    Religious participation has reinforced the color line in American society for generations. Despite rising racial and ethnic diversity across U.S. communities, most Americans continue to belong to congregations composed primarily of others from their own racial/ethnic groups. Yet recent scholarship suggests that the presence of multiple racial or ethnic groups in the same congregation is increasing. The authors examine how the racial/ethnic composition of U.S.
  10. The Societalization of Social Problems: Church Pedophilia, Phone Hacking, and the Financial Crisis

    This article develops a theory of “societalization,” demonstrating its plausibility through empirical analyses of church pedophilia, media phone-hacking, and the financial crisis. Although these strains were endemic for decades, they had failed to generate broad crises. Reactions were confined inside institutional boundaries and handled by intra-institutional elites according to the cultural logics of their particular spheres. The theory proposes that boundaries between spheres can be breached only if there is code switching.