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The Social Integration of Practitioners of Non-Western Religions in the United States

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Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus have become an increasingly significant part of American religion in recent years. Yet scholarship on these groups has been limited largely to case studies and qualitative observations. We analyze data from a large national survey that permits comparisons among Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, and Christians. The data reveal that members of non-Western religions in the United States resemble Jews in having notably higher socioeconomic status than Christians. They resemble the rest of the population on other measures of actual or potential social integration, including political knowledge, generalized trust, neighborhood contacts, and interreligious ties. However, low levels of voting, a tendency to express feelings of alienation, and fewer connections with community elites suggest a continuing lack of political integration.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Princeton University

Publication date: December 1, 2003


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