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WHO HAS RELIGIOUS PREJUDICE? DIFFERING SOURCES OF ANTI-RELIGIOUS ANIMOSITY IN THE UNITED STATES

GEORGE YANCEY and George Yancy
Review of Religious Research
Vol. 52, No. 2 (December 2010), pp. 159-171
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23054151
Page Count: 13
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WHO HAS RELIGIOUS PREJUDICE? DIFFERING SOURCES OF ANTI-RELIGIOUS ANIMOSITY IN THE UNITED STATES
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Abstract

Research indicates that older, less educated, politically conservative, and highly religious individuals are disproportionately likely to exhibit animosity because of race, sex, and sexuality. But little work explores animosity towards traditionally oriented social groups, such as religious conservatives. Theories about the unique characteristics of those possessing animosity predicts little animosity from progressives against fundamentalists while the theory of ethnocentrism predicts that progressives possess animosity towards fundamentalists as a social out-group. I use the National Elections Survey to document the degree of animosity a variety of religious groups face and who is likely to exhibit that animosity. In particular I investigate whether animosity towards conservative social groups comes from similar sources as animosity towards progressive social groups. Animosity towards atheists is higher than towards other religious groups, but the level of animosity towards fundamentalists is not trivial. Regression analysis indicates that political progressiveness and educational attainment, two factors predicting tolerance toward progressive religious groups, is positively correlated with animosity towards fundamentalists. Animosity towards religious conservatives may manifest itself differently than animosity towards progressive social groups due to contrasting characteristics of those possessing it.

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