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Persistence and Change in the Protestant Establishment, 1930-1992

James D. Davidson, Ralph E. Pyle and David V. Reyes
Social Forces
Vol. 74, No. 1 (Sep., 1995), pp. 157-175
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2580627
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2580627
Page Count: 19
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Persistence and Change in the Protestant Establishment, 1930-1992
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Abstract

Three Protestant denominations comprising "the Protestant Establishment" (Episcopalian, Presbyterian, and Congregationalist/ United Church of Christ) played a major role in shaping the American way of life. While some scholars claim that Protestant hegemony persists, others argue that we live in a post-Protestant era. We assess these conflicting views by examining the religious affiliations of persons listed in Who's Who in America in 1930 and 1992. The results indicate that the Protestant Establishment has lost some ground since the 1930s but remains overrepresented among the nation's power and cultural elites. Among other groups, Jews have gained the most. Catholics also have gained, but remain slightly underrepresented among both cultural and power elites. The status of other religious groups is also discussed.

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