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Beyond culture wars

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Date Issued:
2010
Summary:
This study examines the impact of Christian religiosity on attitudes toward social safety-net policies over the past three decades in the US. The study used data from the General Social Survey on social safety-net policy preferences and levels of Christian religiosity. Simple cross tabulations, correlations and multiple regression analysis were used to assess the data. Contrary to previous related research, the results of this study indicate that Christian religiosity has a very weak association with opposition to social safety-net policies. At the national level, the relationship between Christian religiosity and attitudes toward social protection policies was largely mediated by other factors such as race, gender, education, family income, and political ideology. These results indicate that Christian religiosity per se does not independently influence social spending preferences. Instead, these results suggest that social divisions in socioeconomic standing and in political ideology, which in turn are closely related to differences in support for social protection policies, permeate American Christianity. The study also examined the relationship between Christian religiosity and social protection policy preferences among Hispanic and Black Americans separately. Although Hispanics and Blacks are generally more supportive of social spending in comparison to White Americans, Christian religiosity was not found to have a strong independent effect on support for social safety-net policies among these two groups. The study did find, however, a markedly different level of support for social safety-net policies among identifiable Christian groups at the national level and in the Hispanic-American population.
Title: Beyond culture wars: the role of Christian religiosity in the public support for social safety net policies in contemporary America.
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Name(s): Alvarado, Emmanuel.
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Department of Sociology
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2010
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Physical Form: electronic
Extent: xii, 253 p. : ill. (some col.)
Language(s): English
Summary: This study examines the impact of Christian religiosity on attitudes toward social safety-net policies over the past three decades in the US. The study used data from the General Social Survey on social safety-net policy preferences and levels of Christian religiosity. Simple cross tabulations, correlations and multiple regression analysis were used to assess the data. Contrary to previous related research, the results of this study indicate that Christian religiosity has a very weak association with opposition to social safety-net policies. At the national level, the relationship between Christian religiosity and attitudes toward social protection policies was largely mediated by other factors such as race, gender, education, family income, and political ideology. These results indicate that Christian religiosity per se does not independently influence social spending preferences. Instead, these results suggest that social divisions in socioeconomic standing and in political ideology, which in turn are closely related to differences in support for social protection policies, permeate American Christianity. The study also examined the relationship between Christian religiosity and social protection policy preferences among Hispanic and Black Americans separately. Although Hispanics and Blacks are generally more supportive of social spending in comparison to White Americans, Christian religiosity was not found to have a strong independent effect on support for social safety-net policies among these two groups. The study did find, however, a markedly different level of support for social safety-net policies among identifiable Christian groups at the national level and in the Hispanic-American population.
Summary: Those who self-identified as "evangelical" or "fundamentalist" Christians were much less supportive of social safety-net policies in comparison to "mainline" or "liberal" Christians. Among Hispanics, Catholics were more supp in comparison to Evangelical Protestants. Moreover, the results of this study indicate that religious American Christians have had a tendency to give precedence to moral issues over concerns about social safety-net policies thus facilitating an issue-bundling effect in recent electoral competition. Lastly, the present work proposes a broad framework through which to interpret the aforementioned findings grounded on the existence and interaction of two counterpoised cultural narratives on social protection found within American Christianity.
Identifier: 608683360 (oclc), 1927301 (digitool), FADT1927301 (IID), fau:2941 (fedora)
Note(s): by Emmanuel Alvarado.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2010.
Includes bibliography.
Electronic reproduction. Boca Raton, Fla., 2010. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Subject(s): Social service -- United States
Christianity and politics -- United States -- 21st century
Urban policy -- United States
Democracy -- Economic aspects
United States -- Social policy -- 1993-
Held by: FBoU FAUER
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/FAU/1927301
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Owner Institution: FAU