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Religion, Political Legitimacy and Civil Violence: A Survey of Children and Adolescents

CHARLES FUNDERBURK
Sociological Focus
Vol. 19, No. 3 (August 1986), pp. 289-298
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20831406
Page Count: 10
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Religion, Political Legitimacy and Civil Violence: A Survey of Children and Adolescents
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Abstract

The manner in which children are socialized is a topic of long standing interest to students of politics. Religious institutions are an agent of socialization with consequences for political learning. This paper reports the results of a survey of 736 children and adolescents. The findings indicate that religious beliefs are associated with support for the political system, its symbols and laws, and to a lesser extent, political authority figures. Conversely, strength of religious commitment is negatively associated with approval of political violence. The strength of these associations increases with age, suggesting that the longer and more intensely religious beliefs are held the more likely they are to influence political attitudes.

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