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Religion, Communication, and Social Capital
Unformatted Document Text:  Religion, Communication, and Social Capital --25-- In short, de Tocqueville’s observations regarding the positive role that religion plays in American democracy do not apply neatly to the contemporary political setting. The associational dimension of religion is limited in respect to the effects of these networks. In addition, religious belief sponsors stronger church-based ties, but is negatively related to a number of important agents and indicators of social capital. More importantly, religious belief and religious association undermine secular political interaction, a context that serves as a catalyst for developing a dense texture of “non-faith-based” networks among citizens. These more secular networks, not religion, seem to be an essential element of what is necessary to rehabilitate American political life and ultimately promote social capital.

Authors: Nisbet, Matthew., Moy, Patricia. and Scheufele, Dietram.
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Religion, Communication, and Social Capital
--25--
In short, de Tocqueville’s observations regarding the positive role that religion plays in
American democracy do not apply neatly to the contemporary political setting. The associational
dimension of religion is limited in respect to the effects of these networks. In addition, religious
belief sponsors stronger church-based ties, but is negatively related to a number of important
agents and indicators of social capital.
More importantly, religious belief and religious association undermine secular political
interaction, a context that serves as a catalyst for developing a dense texture of “non-faith-based”
networks among citizens. These more secular networks, not religion, seem to be an essential
element of what is necessary to rehabilitate American political life and ultimately promote social
capital.


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