Thursday, November 05, 2009

Michael Hout on the religiously unaffiliated

Michael Hout has written some influential articles about the increase in the religiously unaffiliated in the 1990s. In particular, he's advanced an explanation that this increase resulted from conservative Christians' foray into partisan politics in the 1990s (e.g., Moral Majority, Christian Coalition). Here's an update of his work in this area, as summarized on the blog Immanent Frame.


Rethinking secularism:
Unchurched believers
posted by Michael Hout and Claude S. Fischer

In 2002 we reported that the fraction of American adults with no religious preference doubled from 7 to 14 percent during the 1990s. Data from this decade show that the trend away from organized religion continues, albeit at a slower pace. Our analysis of the entire time series, presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in 2009, led us to the conclusion that the trend probably started earlier than we had thought—probably around 1985, 1986, or 1987—and that our previous estimate of the rate of change was, consequently, too high.

Click here for the rest of the article

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