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ENGAGING A SPIRIT FROM THE EAST: ASIAN AMERICAN CHRISTIANS AND CIVIC LIFE

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Abstract:

Asian Americans are one the fastest growing nonwhite populations and nearly half are Christian. Little is known, however, about the impact of religion on their civic lives beyond volunteerism. This article is a comparative analysis of Asian American Catholic and Protestant civic involvements. In the general population some have argued that the acquisition of civic skills is hindered by Catholic affiliation relative to Protestantism, but it is not know if the same is true for Asian Americans. I explore these issues with data from the Social Capital Benchmark (SCCB) Survey using logistic regression analysis. Results suggest that Protestant Asian Americans are more likely to vote and be interested in politics than Asian American Catholics, but being Protestant is not a significant predictor of community participation. I conclude that religion, particularly with small group participation, is an important resource for all Asian American Christians across broad measures of civic life.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02732170802584435

Affiliations: Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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