Religious Involvement and Bridging Social Ties:
The Role of Congregational Participation
Merino is an assistant professor of sociology at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado. He teaches courses on race, religion, microsociology and social psychology, research methods, environmental sociology, and social problems. He received an MA and PhD in sociology from Pennsylvania State University. His published work has appeared in Social Science Research, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Review of Religious Research, Public Opinion Quarterly, and more. One of his sole-authored articles was recently included in the third edition of the textbook, Sociology of Religion: A Reader.
Author: Stephen M. Merino
Title: "Religious Involvement and Bridging Social Ties: The Role of Congregational Participation"
Journal: Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry
Journal Issue: Volume 1, Number 2
Date: Fall 2019
Research indicates that religious communities are important sites for the development of social resources, including social capital. Several studies suggest that religious involvement beyond worship services is a meaningful predictor of civic engagement that may foster bridging social capital, or ties that bridge social groups and cross lines of status and identity. This article explores the relationship between religious involvement and bridging social ties. Using nationally representative survey data and a subsample of individuals who are affiliated with one particular congregation, the article examines how religious service attendance and congregational participation (beyond services) are associated with frequency of interaction with someone from one of nine different social groups that vary along dimensions of social status and identity. Congregational participation beyond services positively predicts contact with several of the groups. In contrast, service attendance is either negatively related or not at all significantly related to interaction with someone from each of these nine different social groups.
Keywords: Religious Involvement, Congregational Participation, Bridging Social Capital, Intergroup Contact
More From the Author:
(footnote) Stephen M. Merino, “Religious Involvement and Bridging Social Ties: The Role of Congregational Participation,” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry 1, no. 2 (Fall 2019): 291-308, https://doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no2.10.
(bibliography) Merino, Stephen M. “Religious Involvement and Bridging Social Ties: The Role of Congregational Participation,” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry 1, no. 2 (Fall 2019): 291-308. https://doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no2.10.
Merino, Stephen M. “Religious Involvement and Bridging Social Ties: The Role of Congregational Participation.” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry, vol. 1, no. 2, Fall 2019, doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no2.10, pp. 291-308.
Merino, S. M. (2019). Religious Involvement and Bridging Social Ties: The Role of Congregational Participation. Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry, 1(2), 291-308. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no2.10.
Becker, Penny Edgell and Pawan H. Dhingra, “Religious Involvement and Volunteering: Implications for Civil Society,” Sociology of Religion 62, no. 3 (2001): 315‒335, https://doi.org/10.2307/3712353.
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