The generation gap between group affiliation and politics: how age influences the political impact of religious commitment amongst evangelicals Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Garrett, Kristin Nicole
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • While scholars have established that both social groups and cultural contexts matter for politics, the question of how different socializing environments mediate the political impact of group affiliations remains unanswered. In this paper, therefore, I draw from contextual effects literature to build a case that high contextual complexity, where a person's cultural environment and social group convey conflicting norms and generate cross-pressures, increases the political relevance of group commitment. More specifically, I argue that when contextual complexity is low, group membership is largely sufficient to shape people's political actions and identities. When contextual complexity is high, however, membership alone is not enough to define individuals' political behavior. It requires their commitment to the group. Applying this theory to religion and politics, I find support for my hypothesis: the political effect of religious commitment is greater amongst young evangelicals, who were socialized into politics in a more complex context than older evangelicals.
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  • Carsey, Thomas M.
  • Master of Arts
Graduation year
  • 2013

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