The religious affiliations of american elites, 1930s to 1990s: A note on the pace of disestablishment

Ralph E. Pyle, Jerome R. Koch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper tests the “disestablishment thesis’ that America’s Protestant Establishment has declined over the course of the century, especially in the last 30 years. Using Who’s Who data from 1930, 1950, 1970, and 1992, we examine the religious affiliations of American elites, and the extent to which religious groups are over- or under-represented among elites relative to their numbers in the total U.S. population. Results support claims that the Protestant Establishment has lost prominence over the years. The data also indicate that there are more Catholics, Jews, and Lutherans among elites. However, other Protestant groups (e.g., Baptists) and Catholics remain under-represented in Who’s Who. Establishment groups and other elite religions (Unitarian-Universalists and Quakers) remain over-represented. Jews have gained relative to their numbers in the total population and are over-represented. We use a neo-Weberian framework to interpret the findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-137
Number of pages13
JournalSociological Focus
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2001

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The religious affiliations of american elites, 1930s to 1990s: A note on the pace of disestablishment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this