Religion and Radicalism in Contemporary Transnational Social Movements:

The 2007 Nairobi World Social Forum*

 

Rachel M. Meeker

University of California, Riverside

 Undergraduate Sociology Honors Thesis

2007-08

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Many thanks to 2008 UCR Graduate student, Jesse Fletcher for his assistance, as well as UCR distinguished Professor of Sociology Christopher Chase-Dunn and UCR Professor Ellen Reese for their guidance in the formulation of this thesis and the use of their survey data on the 2007 Nairobi World Social Forum. 5860 words, v. 6-23-08. This document is available as IROWS Working Paper # 43.

 

 

 

Abstract

            The purpose of this study is to explore the role of religion in contemporary transnational social movements (CTSM). A thorough analysis of survey data collected at the 2007 Nairobi World Social Forum (WSF) will be presented, as well as a data analysis of the global 1995 World Values Survey (WVS).  By evaluating the data in terms of conflict theory, this essay will establish the religious trends among contemporary transnational social movements. Findings from the WSF support a conflict theory interpretation of the role of religion in CTSM. Some of the findings from the WSF are supported by the WVS results, though some WVS survey findings are not consistent with a conflict theory approach to the interpretation of religion in CTSM.  This thesis advocates for further study of religion and political radicalism in CTSM, such as the WSF.

 

Introduction

 

             In the past, the sociological literature concerning religious social movements has often originated from the premise that religious movements were the vestiges of a pre-modern history. Conversely, secular social movements have been portrayed as necessary functional divisions in modern society. It has, however, been apparent for some time that the assumptions made regarding the nature of religious movements are incorrect. Religion is more accurately characterized as an element of modern politics through which adherents formulate their conceptions of morality and authority. In other words, religion exists alongside secular humanism and science as a source of functional division in modern society. Each of these paradigms are simply alternative means of conceptualizing authority, ethics, morality, and ontology. As such, the study of religious participants in transnational social movements is a valid and necessary component in understanding the emerging role of these social movements in world politics. Many questions should be raised regarding the religious believers in participating in transnational social movements. For example, how many of the participants involved in global justice movements hold deeply religious convictions and how do the highly religious participants differ from those who consider themselves less religious? This research has been designed to answer these questions and explore many more.

             For the purpose of this research, we will be focusing on the World Social Forum (WSF) as an example of contemporary transnational social movements. The WSF was established in response to contemporary globalization and neoliberalism, as found in the World Economic Forum. It was first held in Porto Alegre, Brazil in January 2001. The WSF allows a diverse variety of social movement groups to congregate annually, joined together in their opposition to neoliberalism (Cassen 2003). The WSF Charter of Principles of the WSF International Council states that the WSF is held, in part, in a “non-confessional” context (2001, #8). This makes the question of religiosity in the WSF particularly relevant. This paper seeks to determine if there is a correlation between the degree of religiosity and socio-economic status, both nationally and internationally. The results from the WSF data analysis will also be contrasted with results from a global survey known as the World Values Survey. The purpose of this comparison will be to determine if the WSF respondents differ with the global population or if the trends observed within the WSF are analogous to trends among the global population.

            The hypotheses utilized in this thesis are based on a conflict theory framework. In this framework, religiosity is asserted to be the result of alienation and social oppression. Religion is seen as a means of illusory compensation for the genuine happiness which comes with freedom from oppression. Subsequently, religion is considered a product of a condition which requires such an illusion, namely alienation. As such, those who lack socio-economic and political power are expected to display a tendency for high religiosity. Those who are not the object of oppression would therefore be less religious or not at all religious (Marx & Engels, 1848; Collins, 1975).

            The purpose of this study is to evaluate religion in contemporary transnational social movements (CTSM) using a framework based on conflict theory, as opposed to a functionalist perspective. Based on our theoretical framework, we hypothesize that the correlation between religiosity and socio-economic standing is a negative correlation. Those who are more advantaged politically and socio-economically, will tend to be less religious whereas those who are disadvantaged socio-economically and politically will be highly religious.

            This paper is divided into multiple sections. The first section will review the data analysis, starting with WSF and WVS demographics and moving on to an analysis of political radicalism in both the WVS and WSF survey data.  The findings will then be discussed in terms of theoretical implications and possibilities for improvement in future research.

Data Analysis

            In both the WSF survey and the WVS, respondents were asked to report their degree of religiosity (Figure 1, Figure 2). In our analysis, we cross-tabulated respondent religiosity with various demographics. Special emphasis was placed on those demographics which highlight inequalities, in order to determine if a conflict theory approach is appropriate for examining religion in CTSM. All analysis was done using SPSS and statistical significance was determined by Pearson Chi-Squared tests. Statistical significance has not been given for WVS results, as sample size is significantly large enough to ensure sample validity.

World Social Forum Demographics

            We now turn to the characteristics of the attendees at the World Social Forums in 2007 (Nairobi, Kenya). The following results are based on surveys administered by the Transnational Social Movement Research Working Group at the University of California-Riverside, aimed toward studying the evolving characteristics of the emerging left wing of global civil society. The surveys focus on demographic and social characteristics of attendees at the World Social Forums as well as their political attitudes and movement affiliations. Over 500 Forum participants were surveyed in at the World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya in January of 2007.

            Our analysis of WSF survey data found significant correlations between degree of religiosity and the self-identified demographics of the WSF respondents. In the WSF survey, religiosity was identified in three categories. These categories were “Not Religious”, “Somewhat Religious” and “Very Religious” (see Figure 1). Pearson Chi-Square tests were run on all cross-tabulations to determine the significance of each finding. Demographic categories of note were (1) geographic affiliation with global north or south, (2) respondent national identity within World-systems, (3) ethnicity, (4) class identity, and (5) relative income within country of origin.

            Respondents in the 2007 WSF survey were asked to identify their country of origin. These responses were then divided into two groups based on whether the reported country of origin belonged to the global north or the global south. In terms of world-system zones, as will be discussed later,  it should be noted that nations of the global north are analogous with core nations.  For global orientation in the north or south, correlation was expected between global orientation and religiosity. It was hypothesized that those from the north would be less likely to be religious due to their position of global power. In support of this hypothesis, the WSF survey data indicated that WSF respondents from the global south tended to be more likely to be religious than WSF respondents from the global north.

            Of the percent within Global South, over 49% of those who reported being from the global “South” also reported being “Very Religious”, whereas only 12.5% who belonged to the global “North” reported being “Very Religious”. Conversely, of the percent within Global South, approximately 19% of those who were from the global “South” reported themselves to be “Not Religious”, compared to the over 69% who were from the global “North” who reported being “Not Religious” (Table 1.1). The Pearson Chi-Square test on the cross-tabulation between Religiosity and North or South orientation found a significance of .000 with a 95% confidence interval.

            Based on the country of origin data collected in the WSF survey, respondents were divided into world-systems zones. Responses were coded as “Core”, “Semiperiphery” and “Periphery”. The expected correlation was that respondents from periphery nations would be more likely to be religious than other respondents due to their lack of global power. This hypothesis was supported by the WSF survey data analysis. Among the “Periphery” respondents, over half reported being “Very Religious”. Of the percent within world-systems, 69% of respondents who were from the “core” reported being “Not Religious”. Conversely, 58% of respondents who reported being from a “Periphery” nation also reported being “Very Religious” (Table 1.2). This indicates that there is a negative correlation between religiosity and position within world-systems. The Pearson Chi-Square test result was .000, indicating that this is a statistically significant result.

            In the process of evaluating respondent country of origin, it necessary to consider a possible over-representation of Kenyans or African respondents for the Periphery or Global South categories due to the location in which the 2007 WSF survey took place. When Kenyan respondents were isolated in the World-systems cross-tabulation, it was noted that Kenyans were 73% of periphery respondents and 40% of all the respondents at the WSF . This finding is statistically significant with a Pearson Chi-Square test result of .000. Kenyan respondents were also cross-tabulated with religiosity and it was found that the Kenyan respondents are a significantly religious group. Of the percent within Kenyan,  64% of Kenyan respondents at the WSF reported being “Very Religious” and just under 30% of Kenyan respondents reported being “Somewhat Religious”. Only 6% of Kenyans who were sampled  at the WSF reported being “Not Religious” (Table 1.3). These are statistically significant findings with a Pearson Chi-Square test result of .000. 

             To determine whether high religiosity was specific to Kenyans at the WSF or if this was also characteristic of other African respondents at the WSF, two analyses of African respondents were conducted. The first analysis juxtaposed WSF respondents from all African nations with all other respondents. The second juxtaposed WSF respondents from Sub-Saharan African respondents, excluding South Africa, with respondents from all other nations as the WSF.

            The analysis of all African WSF respondents found that Africans tended to be more religious than non-Africans. Of the percent within African, among the African WSF respondents, just under 62% reported being “Very Religious”. In addition,  32% of African respondents reported being “Somewhat Religious”, and only 5% reported that they were “Not Religious”. This is a slightly less dramatic finding than that of Kenyan WSF respondents but it is still notable. In contrast, non-African WSF respondents reported being less religious. These findings are statistically significant with a Pearson Chi-Square test result of .000.

            When Sub-Saharan African WSF respondents were isolated, the findings adjusted slightly but still supported the overall observation that African WSF respondents reported being more religious than non-African respondents. Of the percent within SubSaharanAfrican, just over 63% of those who reported being from Sub-Saharan Africa were “Very Religious” and 32% of WSF Sub-Saharan Africans reported being “Somewhat Religious”. Only 4% of Sub-Saharan African WSF respondents reported being “Not Religious”. Of the percent within SubSaharanAfrican, 15% of those who reported that they were from “Other” nations also reported that they were “Very Religious”. Only 23% of those who were from “Other” nations reported that they were “Somewhat Religious”. Almost 62% of those respondents who reported that they were from nations outside Sub-Saharan Africa reported that they were “Not Religious” (Table 1.4). These findings indicate that African respondents at the WSF, particularly Kenyans, are a highly religious demographic. These findings are statistically significant with a Pearson Chi-Square test result of .000.

            Respondent age was obtained from reported year of birth. Responses were then coded “35 and younger” and “36 and older”. The expected correlation was that respondents 36 and older would be more religious than those 35 and younger. The initial cross-tabulation indicated the opposite. The 35 and younger group tended to be somewhat more religious than the older group. However, the Pearson Chi-Square test result showed a significance rate of .247. Based on this finding, the expected correlation between age and religiosity is evidently absent. There is no correlation between age and religion in the WSF survey data. 

            Class Identity responses were recorded as “upper class”, “upper middle class”, “lower middle class”, “working class” and “lower class”(Figure 4). These categories were collapsed into “upper class to lower middle class” and “working and lower class”. The preliminary hypothesis was that respondents identifying as lower or working class would tend to be more religious than respondents who identified themselves with upper or middle classes. This hypothesis is supported by the WSF survey data. Of the percent within class identity, 48.6% of those that reported the class identity of “working and lower class” claimed to be “Very Religious”. Conversely, 70.4% of the respondents who identified with the “upper class to lower middle class” reported that they were “Not Religious” (Table 2.0). The Pearson Chi-Square test result was .002, indicating that this result is statistically valid and that among WSF survey respondents there is a negative correlation between religiosity and class identity.

             Respondents were also asked to orient their household income relative to other households in their country of origin. Possible responses were “top one-fourth”, “second one-fourth from top”, “second one-fourth from bottom” and “bottom one-fourth” (Figure 5) .  The initial hypothesis was that respondents identifying with lower quartiles of income distribution would be more religious than respondents who identified with upper quartiles of income distribution due to differences in economic power. This hypothesis was supported by the WSF survey data. Of the percent within relative income, approximately 71% of those in the top one-fourth income bracket reported that they were “Not Religious”. Conversely, of the percent within relative income only 18% of the bottom one-fourth reported that they were “Not Religious”.  In fact, degree of religiosity was also negatively correlated with income among those who reported that they were “Very Religious”(Table 3.0). These findings are significant with a Pearson Chi-Square test result of .000.

            WSF survey respondents were asked to report their gender. A correlation between gender and religiosity was expected. It was hypothesized that female respondents would be more religious than male respondents. The WSF survey data indicates that men are actually slightly more religious than women. However, the chi-square test indicates that this is not a significant finding at a result of .198.  The number of years of schooling also proved to be a statistically insignificant variable in regards to religiosity. The correlation was similar to income, as expected. The Pearson Chi-square test, however, indicates that the results are not reliable at a significance of .092.

            Religiosity was also cross-tabulated with ethnicity.  Respondents were asked to identify their ethnicity or race. Respondents who reported that they were “Black” and respondents who reported that they were “white” were cross-tabulated with the variable for religiosity. It was hypothesized that those who reported being “black” would be more religious than those who reported being “white”. In keeping with the hypothesis, it was found that “blacks” did report being more religious than “whites”. Of the percent within ethnicity, 58% the “black” respondents reported that they were “Very Religious”. Of the percent within ethnicity, only 42% of the “White” respondents reported that they were very religious. Of the percent within ethnicity, over 66% of the respondents who reported that they were “White” were “Not Religious”. Based on these findings, it appears that there is a significant difference in religiosity across ethnic groups.  With a Pearson Chi-Square test result of .000, these findings are statistically significant and may be related to the findings for Kenyans, Africans and Sub-Saharan Africans respondents at the WSF. The high religiosity of “black” respondents may be due in part to their geographic origin and not solely their ethnicity.

            When analyzing respondent employment status, respondents who reported being “Unemployed”, “Part time” workers, and “Full time” workers were cross-tabulated with the religiosity variable to determine degree of religiosity. It was hypothesized that those who were unemployed would report being more religious than those who reported employment. In support of this hypothesis, those who reported being “unemployed” tended to be more religious than those who reported that they had some form of employment. Of the percent within employment status, over 64% of those that reported themselves as “unemployed” also reported being “Very Religious”. Conversely, of the percent within employment status, over 45% of those who reported being employed “Full time” and over 45% of those who reported being employed “Part time” also reported that they were “Not Religious”. This indicates that there is a negative correlation between religiosity and employment status. It may be asserted that this correlation is related to the findings on income and religiosity. These findings are statistically significant with a Pearson Chi-Square test result of .000. 

            Based on this demographic data, there appears to be a strong correlation between global or socio-economic position and degree of religiosity. This analysis has found that WSF respondents from less advantaged backgrounds and nations tended to be more religious than those from more advantaged backgrounds and nations. These findings appear to support a conflict theory framework for the study of religion in contemporary transnational social movements, such as the WSF. It should also be noted that the high number of respondents who were Kenyans may have created a sampling bias in respondents who identified with periphery  nations and global south. This bias could not thoroughly be tested, due to the insufficient number of respondents from non-African periphery nations. In order to determine if the high attendance of Kenyans at the 2007 Nairobi WSF may have skewed the results, this analysis should be conducted again with data from a future WSF that has respondents more representative of the nations within the within the periphery and global south.

World Values Survey Demographics

            We will now examine the characteristics of the respondents for the World Values Survey that was conducted in 1995. The following results are based on surveys administered by the European Values Study Group and World Values Survey Association. The surveys focus on sociocultural and political change on a global level. Over 6000 respondents were surveyed across the globe for the 1995 World Values Survey.

            Our analysis of the WVS found significant correlations between degree of religiosity and the self-identified demographics of the WVS respondents. Religiosity was identified in four categories, namely “Not a Religious Person”, “Religious Person”, “Convinced Atheist”, and “Other” (Figure 2). For compatibility with the WSF analysis, we will only be considering respondents who reported being “Not a Religious Person” and “Religious Person”.  Demographic categories of note were (1) class identity, (2) socio-economic status, (3) age, (4)  respondent national identity within World-systems as represented by three countries, (5) income level, (6) gender, and (7) employment status.

             Respondents for the WVS were asked to identify themselves as “upper class”, “middle class” and “lower/working class” (Figure 6). In keeping with the findings for the WSF survey, it was hypothesized that those who reported that they belonged to lower classes would be more religious than those who reported belonging to higher classes. This hypothesis was not supported by the WVS data. Those who reported that they were “upper class” tended to be slightly more religious than those who reported they were from the “middle class” and “lower/working class”. Of the percent within social class, approximately 78% of those who identified with the “upper class” reported that they were a “Religious Person” while only 70% of the “middle class” and 71% of the “lower/working class” reported being religious. Of the percent within social class, approximately 18% of the “upper class” respondents reported that they were “Not Religious” persons. For both the “middle class” and “lower/working class” respondents, approximately 25% per group reported that they were “Not Religious” persons (Table 4.0). These findings are statistically significant with a Pearson Chi-Square test result of .000. The higher religiosity of the upper class respondents is not consistent with the WSF findings and may indicate either a sampling bias in one of the data sets or that the religiosity of WSF attendees may not be representative of the global population.

            Respondent age was obtained from reported year of birth. Responses were then coded “35 and younger” and “36 and older”. It was hypothesized that those respondents who reported being 36 and over would be more religious than those who reported being 35 or under due to the increased socio-economic power of older demographics. This hypothesis was supported by the WVS data. Of the percent within age, more than 69% of those respondents who were “36 or older” reported being “Religious” persons. Slightly lower than this is the approximately 66% of respondents “35 and under” who reported being “Religious” persons. These findings were statistically significant with a Pearson Chi-Square test result of .000. Due to the statistical invalidity of the WSF Age and Religiosity results, this finding is not particularly relevant to our discussion of the WSF respondents.

            WVS respondents were evaluated in terms of World-systems with three countries selected to represent the core, periphery and semiperiphery. These countries were the United States for the core nation, Brazil for the semiperiphery nation, and Nigeria for the periphery nation. It was hypothesized that respondents from the core nation of the United States would be less religious than those from the semiperiphery nation of Brazil and the periphery nation of Nigeria. This hypothesis was supported by the WVS data. Of the percent within World-systems, 82% of respondents from the United States reported being “Religious” persons. For respondents from Brazil, over 85% reported being “Religious” persons and for the respondents from Nigeria, over 94% reported being “Religious” persons (Table 5.0). This negative correlation between World-systems and religiosity was also evident in respondents who reported that they were “Not Religious” persons. These findings are statistically significant with a Pearson Chi-Square test result of .000 and support the WSF findings on religiosity and World-systems. Despite this result, it should also be noted that religiosity in the United States, though lower than the periphery and semiperiphery nations selected, is still curiously high for a core nation.

            For employment status, it was hypothesized that those respondents who were unemployed would be more religious than those who were employed. This hypothesis was supported by the data from the WVS.  Of the percent within employment status, almost 67% of those who reported being “unemployed” also reported being “Religious” persons. This was less than the 69% of the “Religious” respondents also who reported being “part time” but greater than the 64% of “full time” workers who reported being “Religious” persons. It appears that degree of employment is correlated with degree of religiosity, though not as clearly as it is correlated in the WSF findings. This finding is statistically significant with a Pearson Chi-Square test result of .000.

            For income level, WVS respondents were asked to identify their income level on a Likert scale from 1 to 10 (Figure 7). These responses were then coded as “top half” and “bottom half” with bottom half being 1 through 5 and top half being 6 through 7.  It was hypothesized that respondents who identified themselves as low income would be more religious than those from the higher income bracket. This hypothesis was not supported by the WVS data. Of the percent within income, 64% of those who identified themselves as “bottom half” of the income scale reported being “Religious” persons. For respondents who identified themselves as belonging to the “top half” of the income scale, approximately 73% reported being “Religious” persons (Table 6.0). These findings are significant with a Pearson Chi-Square test result of .000.

            WVS respondents were asked to identify themselves as “male” or “female”. It was hypothesized that females would be more religious than males. This hypothesis was supported by the WVS data. Of the percent within gender, approximately 76% of those who identified as “female” reported being “Religious” persons. For the respondents who identified as “male”, approximately 64% also identified themselves as “Religious” persons. These findings are statistically significant with a Pearson Chi-Square test result of .000. Due to the statistical insignificance of the WSF findings concerning gender, this result is not relevant to our discussion of the WSF respondents.

            Interestingly, the hypotheses concerning income and class identity were not supported by the WVS data and the results for employment status were erratically correlated. The results for world-systems was also odd due to the overall high religiosity of all respondents. One possible explanation for these results may be due to the sampling for the WVS. People who are not religious or less religious may not be inclined to participate in the WVS and people who are religious may be more inclined to participate in the WVS. Another explanation for the inconsistencies between the two data sets may be due to differences in the phrasing of survey questions. In conducting our analysis we have attempted to select variables that are as similar as possible in order to facilitate comparison, though a perfect match was not possible. Regardless of the possible sampling problems, the WVS still generally supports the WSF findings concerning world-systems and religiosity.  Unfortunately, due to the statistical invalidity of the WSF findings on gender and age, no statistically significant comparison can be made between the two data sets concerning these variables.

Political Opinion and Radicalism

            Political Opinion variables in both the WSF and the WVS data sets were cross-tabulated with Religiosity in order to determine any correlation between religiosity and political radicalism. Based on the proposed theoretical framework, it was hypothesized that respondents who identified themselves as religious would be less radical than those who identified themselves as not religious. All data was processed using SPSS and statistical significance was determined through Pearson Chi-Square tests.

World Social Forum Political Views

            The WSF study found significant correlations between degree of religiosity and respondent political opinions. Religiosity was identified in three categories, namely “Not religious”, “Somewhat religious” and “Very Religious”. Pearson Chi-Square tests were run on all cross-tabulations to determine the significance of each finding. The main political opinion category of note in the WSF survey was Political Views.

            WSF respondents were asked to place themselves on a Likert scale based on “left” to “right” political orientation (Figure 8). It was hypothesized that respondents who identified themselves as religious would orient themselves towards the political right whereas those who identified themselves as not religious would orient themselves towards the political left.  This hypothesis was supported by the WVS data. Of the percent within political views,  75% of those respondents who oriented themselves with the political “far right” also reported being “Very Religious”. Conversely,  67% of those respondents who oriented themselves with the political “far left” also identified themselves as “Not Religious” (Table 7.0). This indicates that there is a negative correlation between religiosity and political radicalism. This result is in keeping with the specified theoretical framework and is significant with a Pearson Chi-Square test result of .000.

World Values Survey Political Opinion

                        The WVS study found significant correlations between degree of religiosity and respondent political opinions. Religiosity was identified in three categories, namely “Not religious”, “Religious” and “Convinced Atheist”. The main political opinion categories of note in the WVS data set was Left/Right self-placement, as is analogous to the WSF survey question on political views.

            WVS respondents were asked to place themselves on a Likert scale based on “left” to “right” political orientation (Figure 9). It was hypothesized that respondents who identified themselves as religious would orient themselves towards the political right whereas those who identified themselves as not religious would orient themselves towards the political left. This hypothesis was supported by the data. Of the percent within Left Right Self Placement, 82% of those who oriented themselves with the political far “right” reported being “Religious”, whereas 25% of those who oriented themselves with the political far “left” and 32% who oriented themselves to the number on the scale closest to the far left identified themselves as “Not Religious” (Table 8.0). There appears to be a negative correlation between religiosity and political radicalism among WVS respondents. These findings are significant with a Pearson Chi-Square of .000 and support the proposed hypothesis.

            It should be noted that those sampled in the WVS who reported being religious tended to orient themselves more distinctly to the right than those in the WSF sample. This may indicate that, though those who reported being “Very Religious” in the WSF sample were less radical in their political orientation than those who identified as “Not Religious”, the religious respondents at the WSF may overall represent a more radical demographic of religious peoples than is found in the general population, as represented by the WVS findings.

Discussion

            Comparisons of religious and non-religious respondents at the 2007 World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya indicate a distinct congruence in that all indications of social hierarchy possess a notably negative correlation with religiosity. In other words, religious respondents at the WSF reported having less income, low class position, less education and a higher likelihood of coming from the periphery than the semiperiphery or the core of the world-  systems. These findings appear to support the hypothesis that religion may serve as a means of compensation among lower social positions, perhaps indicating some level of contemporary truth in the Marxian adage, “religion is the opiate of the masses.” 

            However, the findings in the WSF survey respondents are not completely supported when we expand our examination of religiosity and radicalism to the World Values Survey, which is intended to be representative of the global population. Some variables of inequality within the WVS indicate that upper class or high income respondents are more religious. The respondents from the United States were particularly more religious than would be expected from a core nation. We are unsure as to the source of these inconsistencies in the comparison of the WSF and the WV surveys but we are unwilling to reject our initial hypotheses, as the WSF data analysis appears to strongly support a conflict theory paradigm. In addition, a closer analysis of the World Values Survey indicates certain data inconsistencies which make us suspicious of exactly how representative this sample is of the global population. For example, when the WVS is analyzed with several years conglomerated, the data set indicates that a large majority of respondents from the United States have reported being Catholic. This report alone causes us to question how well the WVS has sampled the United States population.

            Our research does, however, entertain the likelihood that all religions are not the same in regards to religiosity and political radicalism. Further research is needed on the topic in order to distinguish how various religions differ on this topic. One proposed hypothesis may be that there are important differences across various religions in regards to religiosity and political radicalism. Future study should also  refer to other global data sources for religiosity in order to determine whether the findings in this study are representative of the global population.

 

 

Tables Index

 

Figure 1- WSF Religiosity Survey Question

 Religiosity: WSF Demographics II. 21

“How religious do you consider yourself?”

 

-         Not Religious     - Somewhat Religious     - Very Religious

 

 

Figure 2- WVS Religiosity Survey Question

Religiosity: WVS Beliefs V182

“Independently of whether you go to church or not, would you say you are?”

 

- A religious person    - Not a religious person    - A convinced atheist    -Other Answer

 

 

Figure 3- WSF Nationality Survey Question

WSF- Demographics II.15

“What is your nationality or nationalities?”

 

-Fill in the blank answer

 

Table 1.1- WSF Nationality recoded into Global Orientation variable, cross-tabulated with Religiosity

 

 

Table 1.2- WSF Nationality recoded into World-systems variable, cross-tabulated with Religiosity

 

 

 

Table 1.3- WSF Nationality recoded into Kenyan variable, cross-tabulated with Religiosity

 

 

Table 1.4- WSF Nationality recoded into Sub-Saharan African variable cross-tabulated with Religiosity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 4- WSF Class Identity Survey Question

WSF Demographics II.25

 

“People sometimes describe themselves as belonging to the working class, the middle class, or the upper or lower class. In your current situation, how would you describe yourself? Check one.”

 

-Upper class    -Upper middle class     -Lower middle class     -Working class       

-Lower class

 

Table 2.0- WSF Class Identity recoded, cross-tabulated with Religiosity

 

 

Figure 5- WSF Income Survey Question

WSF Demographics II. 26

“Compared to other people in your country of residence, how would you place your household income, including wages, salaries, pensions and other incomes? Check one.”

 

- Top ¼    - Second ¼ from top    - Second ¼ from bottom   -Bottom ¼

 

Table 3.0- WSF Income variable cross-tabulated with Religiosity

 

 

Figure 6- WVS Class Identity Survey Question

WVS Demographics V226

“People sometimes describe themselves as belonging to the working class, the middle class, or the upper or lower class. Would you describe yourself as belonging to the:”

 

- Upper class   - Upper middle class   - Lower middle class    - Working class   - Lower class

 - Don't know

 

Table 4.0- WVS Social Class variable cross-tabulated with Religiosity

 

 

Table 5.0- Country variable recoded into World-systems variable, cross-tabulated with Religiosity

Based on country code for country in which survey was conducted.

 

 

 

Figure 7- WVS Income Survey Question

WVS Family Income V227

“Here is a scale of family incomes. We would like to know in what group your household is, counting all wages, salaries, pensions, and other incomes that come in. Just give the letter of the group your household falls into, before taxes and other deductions.”

 

1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10

C   D   E    F    L    H    I    J     K    L

 

Table 6.0- WVS Income variable recoded, cross-tabulated with Religiosity

 

Figure 8- WSF Political Views Survey Question

WSF Political Opinions III. 31

“Which of the following describes your political views?

 

- Far Left   - Left   - Center Left    - Center     - Center Right     - Right   - Far Right 

- Indifferent    - Not sure

 

Table 7- WSF Political Views variable cross-tabulated with Religiosity

 

 

 

 

Figure 9- WSF Political Views Survey Question

WVS Political Opinions V123

“In political matters, people talk of 'the left' and 'the right'. How would you place your views on this scale, generally speaking?”

 

1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10               DK= 99

Left                                                     Right

 

Table 8- WVS Political Views variable cross-tabulated with Religiosity

 

References

 

Cassen, B. 2003. “On The Attack”. New Left Review, 19, 41-60.

Collins, Randall. 1975. Conflict Sociology: Toward an Explanatory Science. New York:          Academic Press.

European Values Study Group and World Values Survey Association. WVS official file, 1995.           

Online at <http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org>

Marx, Karl and Frederick Engels. 1848. “Religion is the Opium of the People.” Pp. 26-32 in Enduring Issues in Religion edited by J. Lyden. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, inc.

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            Online at <http://irows.ucr.edu>

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