Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
  • Oss0212
  • Sociology
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    Critique the characteristics of religious groups in the United States


    OER Text Material

    Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World, Chapter 17

    Religion in the United States - Section 17.5

    • Describe the extent and correlates of religious affiliation.
    • Explain the different dimensions of religiosity.
    • Describe the correlates and consequences of religiosity.

    The United States is generally regarded as a fairly religious nation. In a 2009 survey administered by the
    Gallup Organization to 114 nations, 65% of Americans answered yes when asked, “Is religion an
    important part of your daily life?” (Crabtree, 2010). In a 2007 Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
    survey, about 83% of Americans expressed a religious preference, 61% were official members of a local
    house of worship, and 39% attended religious services at least weekly (Pew Forum on Religion & Public
    Life, 2008). These figures show that religion plays a significant role in the lives of many Americans.
    Types of Religious Organizations – content in OER – Section 17.4​ - provides additional information for
    this learning objective.

    Supplementary Material (Videos and Reading)

    1. The Effect of Immigration on Religious Beliefs in the United States
      Using data from the New Immigrant Survey, we examine the religious beliefs and practices of new legal immigrants to the United States.
    2. Views of Religious Institutions – Pew Research Center
      Americans view religious institutions and their impact on society. These questions were not asked in the 2007 Religious Landscape Study, so the chapter does not include trend data.
    3. How Americans View Other Religions Will & Won’t Surprise You (video, published on Oct 6, 2014)
      Jews, Catholics and evangelical Christians are viewed warmly by the American public. When asked to rate each group on a “feeling thermometer” ranging from 0 to 100 – where 0 reflects the coldest, most negative possible rating and 100 the warmest, most positive rating – all three groups receive an average rating of 60 or higher (63 for Jews, 62 for Catholics and 61 for evangelical Christians). And 44% of the public rates all three groups in the warmest part of the scale (67 or higher). Buddhists, Hindus and Mormons receive neutral ratings on average, ranging from 48 for Mormons to 53 for Buddhists. The public views atheists and Muslims more coldly; atheists receive an average rating of 41, and Muslims an average rating of 40. Fully 41% of the public rates Muslims in the coldest part of the thermometer (33 or below), and 40% rate atheists in the coldest part. The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks it down.