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Journal Article

Is the United States a counterexample to the secularization thesis?

Authors

Publication date

Mar 2016

Summary

Virtually every discussion of secularization asserts that high levels of religiosity in the United States make it a decisive counterexample to the claim that modern societies are prone to secularization. Focusing on trends rather than levels, the authors maintain that, for two straightforward empirical reasons, the United States should no longer be considered a counterexample. First, it has recently become clear that American religiosity has been declining for decades. Second, this decline has been produced by the generational patterns underlying religious decline elsewhere in the West: each successive cohort is less religious than the preceding one. America is not an exception. These findings change the theoretical import of the United States for debates about secularization.

Published in

American Journal of Sociology

Volume and page numbers

121 , 1517 -1556

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/684202

ISSN

16

Links

University of Essex, Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to University of Essex registered users* - http://serlib0.essex.ac.uk/record=b1594812~S5

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