(joint work with Chaeyoon Lim, University of Wisconsin-Madison)
One of the most significant social changes in the US over the past decades is the fast growth of the number of Americans who have no religious affiliation – a trend commonly dubbed as “the rise of the Nones”. Since religion is widely viewed as a central pillar of public life in America, this trend may well leave a broader mark on American society. In this seminar, I will explore this topic by discussing two studies that focus on the impact of declining religiosity on civic engagement. The first study examines the links between state-level trends in religiosity and civic engagement since 2000. It exploits the fact that there is substantial variation across states in how secularization unfolds. The second study uses individual-level data that track religiosity and civic activities as people move through adolescence into adulthood. This is a critical phase for the formation of religious affiliations, beliefs and practices. We can thus study what happens to civic behaviours when people who grew up religiously become non-religious as an adult.
The Sociology Seminar Series for Hilary Term is convened by Dave Kirk and Nan Dirk de Graaf. For more information about this or any of the seminars in the series, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.