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Religions 2011, 2(2), 165-183; doi:10.3390/rel2020165

Neighbors Like Me? Religious Affiliation and Neighborhood Racial Preferences among Non-Hispanic Whites

Department of Sociology, The Pennsylvania State University, 211 Oswald Tower, University Park, PA 16802, USA
Received: 15 March 2011 / Revised: 1 June 2011 / Accepted: 9 June 2011 / Published: 15 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Studies in the Sociology of Religion)
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Research on racial residential segregation has paid little attention to the role that social institutions play in either isolating or integrating racial and ethnic groups in American communities. Scholars have argued that racial segregation within American religion may contribute to and consolidate racial division elsewhere in social life. However, no previous study has employed national survey data to examine the relationship between religious affiliation and the preferences people have about the racial and ethnic composition of their neighborhoods. Using data from the “Multi-Ethnic United States” module on the 2000 General Social Survey, this study finds that white evangelical Protestants have a significantly stronger preference for same-race neighbors than do Catholics, Jews, adherents of “other” faiths, and the unaffiliated. Group differences in preferences are largely accounted for by socio-demographic characteristics. Negative racial stereotyping and social isolation from minorities, both topics of interest in recent research on evangelical Protestants and race, fail to explain group differences in preferences.
Keywords: race; segregation; attitudes; religion race; segregation; attitudes; religion
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Merino, S.M. Neighbors Like Me? Religious Affiliation and Neighborhood Racial Preferences among Non-Hispanic Whites. Religions 2011, 2, 165-183.

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