Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on ReligionInstitute for Studies of Relgion
IJRR :: 2011 Volume 7 :: Article 3
2011 Volume 7, Article 3
Divided by Age?: Generational Shifts in White Evangelical Christians' Attitudes Toward Racial Diversity

Author: Darin M. Mather (University of Minnesota)

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This article examines whether there are generational differences among white evangelicals in their perceptions of race-related issues in the United States. Younger white evangelicals are compared to older white evangelicals and to younger white nonevangelicals. Differences are measured in three broad areas: valuing diversity, racial solidarity, and race-related public policy. These comparisons indicate that there are clear differences in the post–Baby Boom cohorts of evangelicals on important issues of valuing diversity and of racial solidarity. At the same time, younger white evangelicals share with older evangelicals an opposition to structural approaches for addressing racial problems. Detailed analysis uncovers several factors that contribute to these similarities and differences. Among other things, the younger cohort’s stronger adherence to a contractual view of social solidarity contributes significantly to the generational shifts in attitudes.

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