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Youth Support for Muslim and Christian Religious Symbols in Public Life

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Abstract:

In many countries, the increasing demographic weight of the Muslim population has given rise to questions about the place of religious symbols in the public sphere. These debates have highlighted interesting contradictions between public tolerance and acceptance of Christian symbols compared to minority religious symbols. These questions have become central in recent election campaigns and speak to important political arguments of our times.

How and under what conditions do young people accept the Muslim religious symbols, and how does this compare to Christian religious symbols such as the cross? In this paper we utilize a two-wave panel survey with young Canadians to answer this question. In a first step, we analyze an experiment embedded in the second wave of surveys that randomly manipulates three religious symbols: the hijab, the niqab and the Christian cross. The aim is to understand if young people make distinctions across minority and majority religious symbols. We then draw on the panel design to understand which youth are generally favorable to the wearing of religious symbols in public life, and if any of these factors are influenced by the type of religious symbol under consideration. We pay specific attention to prior ethnic and religious diversity in their school and childhood environments, as well as the strength of their personal interethnic ties.

We use the Canadian Youth Study, a unique two-wave panel survey of Canadian young people collected in 2005-2006 and 2013-2014, including approximately 1,000 respondents surveyed at the ages of 16 and then 23. Inter-group contact was measured with strong and weak ties in both waves and in a variety of contexts (friends, school, work and neighborhood). The findings speak directly to a contentious public debate about the limits of democratic accommodation of religious diversity, as well as the growing literature on the impact of inter-ethnic group contact on political attitudes.
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Association:
Name: American Political Science Association Annual Meeting
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http://www.apsanet.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1127984_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Stolle, Dietlind., Harell, Allison. and Maheo, Valerie-Anne. "Youth Support for Muslim and Christian Religious Symbols in Public Life" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, TBA, Philadelphia, PA, Aug 31, 2016 <Not Available>. 2017-11-28 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1127984_index.html>

APA Citation:

Stolle, D. , Harell, A. and Maheo, V. , 2016-08-31 "Youth Support for Muslim and Christian Religious Symbols in Public Life" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, TBA, Philadelphia, PA <Not Available>. 2017-11-28 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1127984_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In many countries, the increasing demographic weight of the Muslim population has given rise to questions about the place of religious symbols in the public sphere. These debates have highlighted interesting contradictions between public tolerance and acceptance of Christian symbols compared to minority religious symbols. These questions have become central in recent election campaigns and speak to important political arguments of our times.

How and under what conditions do young people accept the Muslim religious symbols, and how does this compare to Christian religious symbols such as the cross? In this paper we utilize a two-wave panel survey with young Canadians to answer this question. In a first step, we analyze an experiment embedded in the second wave of surveys that randomly manipulates three religious symbols: the hijab, the niqab and the Christian cross. The aim is to understand if young people make distinctions across minority and majority religious symbols. We then draw on the panel design to understand which youth are generally favorable to the wearing of religious symbols in public life, and if any of these factors are influenced by the type of religious symbol under consideration. We pay specific attention to prior ethnic and religious diversity in their school and childhood environments, as well as the strength of their personal interethnic ties.

We use the Canadian Youth Study, a unique two-wave panel survey of Canadian young people collected in 2005-2006 and 2013-2014, including approximately 1,000 respondents surveyed at the ages of 16 and then 23. Inter-group contact was measured with strong and weak ties in both waves and in a variety of contexts (friends, school, work and neighborhood). The findings speak directly to a contentious public debate about the limits of democratic accommodation of religious diversity, as well as the growing literature on the impact of inter-ethnic group contact on political attitudes.


 
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