Religious Involvement and Bridging Social Ties:
The Role of Congregational Participation


Stephen M. Merino

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.


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Article Information:

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

Pages: 291-308

DOI: https://doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no2.10

Abstract

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

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Citation Examples:

Turabian/Chicago:

(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.

MLA:

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.

APA:

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.


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Beyerlein, Kraig, and John R. Hipp. “From Pews to Participation: The Effect of Congregation Activity and Context On Bridging Civic Engagement.” Social Problems 53, no. 1 (2006): 97‒117. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/sp.2006.53.1.97.

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