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Social Trends in American LifeFindings from the General Social Survey since 1972$
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Peter V. Marsden

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691133317

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691133317.001.0001

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Continuity and Change in American Religion, 1972–2008

Continuity and Change in American Religion, 1972–2008

(p.212) 8 Continuity and Change in American Religion, 1972–2008
Social Trends in American Life

Mark Chaves

Shawna Anderson

Princeton University Press

This chapter describes eight trends evident in the General Social Survey (GSS) between 1972 and 2008: (i) increased religious diversity; (ii) increased affiliation among Protestants with conservative and evangelical denominations; (iii) softening involvement with congregations; (iv) reduced belief in an inerrant Bible; (v) reduced confidence in the leaders of religious organizations; (vi) reduced tolerance of certain kinds of religious involvement in the public sphere; (vii) a tighter connection between religious service attendance and political, social, and religious conservatism; and (viii) the somewhat higher levels of diffusely spiritual attitudes. Some trends are indicated by a single repeated GSS item while others represent interpretations of a set of similarly trending items.

Keywords:   General Social Survey, social trends, religious diversity, Protestants, religious affiliation, religious organizations, conservatism, religion

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