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A Cross-Cultural Investigation of Religious Orientation, Social Norms, and Prejudice

Glenn A. Elmer Griffin, Richard L. Gorsuch and Andrea-Lee Davis
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Vol. 26, No. 3 (Sep., 1987), pp. 358-365
DOI: 10.2307/1386437
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1386437
Page Count: 8
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A Cross-Cultural Investigation of Religious Orientation, Social Norms, and Prejudice
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Abstract

Researchers have recently reported that the established low correlation between intrinsic religiousness and prejudice is an artifact of social desirability. They found that only the quest orientation correlated negatively with prejudice. This study examined these developments in a culture in which prejudice against a certain group was not socially undesirable. One hundred and ninety-one Seventh-Day Adventists on the Caribbean island of St. Croix responded to religious orientation measures and a measure of prejudice against Rastafarians. We found that Adventist church members rated the church as more prejudiced than the general population on St. Croix. Strength of commitment to the Adventist church was significantly correlated with prejudice as was church attendance. Intrinsic religiosity was also significantly correlated with prejudice. There was no relationship between the extrinsic or quest orientations and prejudice. We conclude that there is no singular relationship between religious orientation and prejudice; researchers must take account of particular religious and social norms.

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