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Title page for ETD etd-07202012-114521

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Husser, Jason Andrew
Author's Email Address jason.husser@gmail.com
URN etd-07202012-114521
Title Religion and polarization in American politics
Degree PhD
Department Political Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Marc J. Hetherington Committee Chair
Christian R. Grose Committee Member
Cindy D. Kam Committee Member
Efren O. Perez Committee Member
  • christian fundamentalists
  • feeling thermometer
  • party identification
  • church attendance
  • political polarization
  • evangelical protestants
  • evangelicals
Date of Defense 2012-06-29
Availability unrestricted
One bedrock finding in the study of mass politics is that religious behavior affects political behavior. However, the successes of movements such as the Christian right have complicated matters. Using a variety of methods, I find that, as religious conservatism has become an exemplar of political conservatism, political behavior has come to affect the religious behavior of a significant number of Americans. Specifically, political predispositions are now a key factor for many individuals’ social integration and organizational satisfaction with evangelical Protestant churches. Republicans sort into while Democrats sort out of frequent attendance in these churches. The resulting void of Democrats in evangelical churches contributes to polarization of the broader political environment.
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