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No Money, No Honey, No Church: The Deinstitutionalization of Religious Life among the White Working Class

Citation

Wilcox, W. Bradford; Cherlin, Andrew J.; Uecker, Jeremy E.; & Messel, Matthew (2012). No Money, No Honey, No Church: The Deinstitutionalization of Religious Life among the White Working Class.. Keister, Lisa A.; McCarthy, John; & Finke, Roger (Eds.) (pp. 227-250). Bingley, England: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Abstract

Purpose: We examine trends in religious attendance by educational group, with an emphasis on the “moderately educated”: individuals with a high school degree but not a four-year college degree.
Methodology: We conduct multivariate ordinary least-squares (OLS) regression models using data from the General Social Survey (from 1972 to 2010) and the National Survey of Family Growth (from 1982 to 2008).
Findings: We find that religious attendance among moderately educated whites has declined relative to attendance among college-educated whites. Economic characteristics, current and past family characteristics, and attitudes toward premarital sex, each explain part of this differential decline.
Implications: Religion is becoming increasingly deinstitutionalized among whites with moderate levels of education, which suggests further social marginalization of this group. Furthermore, trends in the labor force, American family life, and attitudes appear to have salient ramifications for organized religion. Sociologists of religion need to once again attend to social stratification in religious life.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/S0277-2833(2012)0000023013

Reference Type

Book Section

Year Published

2012

Series Title

Religion, Work and Inequality

Author(s)

Wilcox, W. Bradford
Cherlin, Andrew J.
Uecker, Jeremy E.
Messel, Matthew