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Inventing American Religion: Polls, Surveys, and the Tenuous Quest for a Nations Faith

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Today, a billion-dollar-a-year polling industry floods the media with information. Pollsters tell us not only which political cand... Lire la suite
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Description

Today, a billion-dollar-a-year polling industry floods the media with information. Pollsters tell us not only which political candidates will win, but how we are practicing our faith. How many Americans went to church last week? Have they been born again? Is Jesus as popular as Harry Potter? Polls tell us that 40 percent of Americans attend religious services each week. They show that African Americans are no more religious than white Americans, and that Jews are abandoning their religion in record numbers. According to leading sociologist Robert Wuthnow, none of that is correct. Pollsters say that attendance at religious services has been constant for decades. But during that time response rates in polls have plummeted, robotic push poll calls have proliferated, and sampling has become more difficult. The accuracy of political polling can be known because elections actually happen. But there are no election results to show if the proportion of people who say they pray every day or attend services every week is correct. A large majority of the public doubts that polls can be trusted, and yet night after night on TV, polls experts sum up the nations habits to an eager audience of millions. Inventing American Religion offers a provocative new argument about the influence of polls in contemporary American society. Wuthnow contends that polls and surveys have shaped-and distorted-how religion is understood and portrayed in the media and also by religious leaders, practitioners, and scholars. He calls for a robust public discussion about American religion that extends well beyond the information provided by polls and surveys, and suggests practical steps to facilitate such a discussion, including changes in how the results of polls and surveys are presented.

Auteur

Robert Wuthnow is the Gerhard R. Andlinger '52 Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University. He is the author of numerous books on American culture and religion.



Contenu

1 Introduction 2 The Survey Movement 3 Measuring Belief 4 Scientific Studies 5 Pollsters as Pundits 6 In Polls We Trust? 7 Talking Back 8 Taking Stock Acknowledgments Notes Index

Informations sur le produit

Titre: Inventing American Religion: Polls, Surveys, and the Tenuous Quest for a Nations Faith
Sous-titre: Polls, Surveys, and the Tenuous Quest for a Nation's Faith
Auteur:
Code EAN: 9780190258917
ISBN: 978-0-19-025891-7
Protection contre la copie numérique: Adobe DRM
Format: eBook (pdf)
Editeur: Oxford University Press
Genre: Sociologie
nombre de pages: 256
Parution: 01.09.2015
Année: 2015
Sous-titre: Englisch