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ECPR Journals Virtual Special Issue

Aunt Sue and Pal Al Travel Around the World: Attitudinal Correlates of Religious Bridging Social Networks in Eleven Democracies

Comparative Politics
Social Capital
Political Sociology
Dietlind Stolle
McGill University
Dietlind Stolle
McGill University
Richard Traunmüller
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt

The idea that cross-cutting social ties are beneficial to both individuals and society has long been a staple in in the social sciences. Yet we know remarkably little about the religious composition of social networks and inter-religious contacts of general citizens in modern democracies. Based on unique survey data taken from the Bertelsmann Religion Monitor 2013, this paper provides the first cross-national comparison of the attitudinal correlates of religious bridging in social networks for a total of eleven modern democracies across the globe. The survey captures regular inter-religious contacts in the four social spheres of family, neighborhood, workplace, and leisure time are captured. We will examine how religious bridging relates to a number of civic attitudes such as religious tolerance. Second, we will analyze the socio-demographic correlates of religious bridging and try to understand which societal context is most beneficial for the relationship between religious bridging ties and civic outcomes.
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