Worship Discourse and White Race-Based Policy Attitudes
The current study relies upon the 2004 National Politics Study to examine the association between exposure to race-based messages within places of worship and White race-based policy attitudes. The present study challenges the notion that, for White Americans, religiosity inevitably leads to racial prejudice. Rather, we argue, as others have, that religion exists on a continuum that spans from reinforcing to challenging the status quo of social inequality. Our findings suggests that the extent to which Whites discuss race along with the potential need for public policy solutions to address racial inequality within worship spaces, worship attendance contributes to support for public policies aimed at reducing racial inequality. On the other hand, apolitical and non-structural racial discussions within worship settings do seemingly little to move many Whites to challenge dominant idealistic perceptions of race that eschews public policy interventions as solutions to racial inequality.
KeywordsAffirmative action Political discourse Racial attitudes
- Allport, Gordon W. 1979. The nature of prejudice: 25th anniversary edition. New York, NY: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Bartkowski, John P. 2004. The promise keepers: Servants, soldiers, and godly men. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
- Boff, Leonardo, and Clodovis Boff. 1987. Introducing liberation theology. New York: Orbis.Google Scholar
- Brown, R.Khari, Angela Kaiser, and Anthony Daniels. 2010. Religion and the interracial/ethnic common good. Journal of Religion & Society 12: 1–12.Google Scholar
- Cavendish, James C. 2004. A research report commemorating the 25th anniversary of Brothers and Sisters to Us. Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. http://www.usccb.org/saac. Accessed 1 June 2012.
- Emerson, Michael O., and Christian Smith. 2001. Divided by faith: Evangelical religion and the problem of race in America. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Goffman, Erving. 1974. Frame analysis: An essay on the organization of experience. New York, NY: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
- Green, John C., Robert P. Jones, and Daniel Cox. 2009. Faithful, engaged, and divergent: A comparative portrait of conservative and progressive religious activists in the 2008 election and beyond. Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics and Public Religion Research. (September) University of Akron, Akron, OH. http://www.uakron.edu/bliss/research/archives/2008/ReligiousActivistReport-Final.pdf. Accessed 6 July 2012.
- Jackson, James S., Vincent L. Hutchings, Ronald Brown, and Cara Wong. National Politics Study. 2004. [Computer file]. ICPSR24483-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-03-23. doi: 10.3886/ICPSR24483.
- Jones, Jeffrey M. 2005. “Race, Ideology, and Support for Affirmative Action: Personal politics has little to do with blacks’ support.” The Gallup Poll. (August 23). Accessed on July 24, 2013 from http://www.gallup.com/poll/18091/race-ideology-support-affirmative-action.aspx.
- Jones, Jeff and Lydia Saad. 2011. USA Today/Gallup Poll: August Wave 1—FINAL TOPLINE, August 4–7. http://www.gallup.com/poll/149087/Blacks-Whites-Differ-Government-Role-Civil-Rights.aspx. Accessed 1 June 2012.
- MOSES. 2012. M.O.S.E.S. Profile. http://www.mosesmi.org/profile.html. Accessed 15 June 2012.
- Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. 2007. Optimism about black progress declines: blacks see growing values gap between poor and middle class. (November 13). http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/files/2010/10/Race-2007.pdf. Accessed 1 July 2012.
- Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. 2009. Trends in political values and core attitudes: 1987–2009. (May 21). http://www.people-press.org/files/legacy-pdf/517.pdf. Accessed 1 July 2012.
- Roozen, David A., William McKinney, and Jackson W. Carroll. 1984. Varieties of religious presence: Mission in public life. Hartford, CN: The Pilgrim Press.Google Scholar
- Schuman, Howard, Charlotte Steeh, Lawrence D. Bobo, and Maria Krysan. 1998. Racial attitudes in America: Trends and interpretations. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Steensland, Brian, Jerry Z. Park, Mark D. Regnerus, Lynn D. Robinson, W. Bradford Wilcox, and Robert D. Woodberry. 2000. The measure of American religion: Toward improving the state of the art. Social Forces 79(1): 291–318.Google Scholar
- Swarts, Heidi J. 2008. Organizing urban America: Secular and faith-based progressive movements. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
- Tuch, Steven A., and Michael Hughes. 1996. Whites’ racial policy attitudes. Social Science Quarterly 77(4): 723–745.Google Scholar
- Verba, Sidney, Kay Lehman Schlozman, and Henry Brady. 1995. Voice and equality: Civic voluntarism in American politics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Verter, Bradford. 2002. Furthering the freedom struggle: Racial justice activism in the mainline churches since the civil rights era. In The quiet hand of god: Faith-based activism and the public role of mainline Protestantism, ed. Robert Wuthnow, and John H. Evans, 181–212. Berkley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Warren, Mark. 2001. Dry bones rattling: Community building to revitalize American democracy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Wood, Richard L. 2002. Faith in action: Religion, race, and democratic organizing in America. Chicago, IL: University Of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Wuthnow, Robert. 2000. The Religion and Politics Study, 2000. Funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts. http://thearda.com/Archive/Files/Descriptions/RELPOL2000.asp.