Congregational political activity and same-sex marriage: Social movement theory and evidence for contextual influence

Gary Adler, Catherine Hoegeman, A. Joseph West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

We interpret three strands of social movement theory (social threat, opportunity structure, and resource mobilization) to understand religious congregations' political activity related to same-sex marriage. Using a unique, national data set from the 2008 presidential election, we show the importance of the anti-same-sex marriage discursive opportunity structure (DOS) for facilitating, and occasionally constraining, congregational political activity. Other theoretical factors influence congregations under limited, although important, conditions. Our research develops a nuanced understanding of congregations' roles in social movements that prioritize institutionalized political activity and expands DOS theory in relation to local religious organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-586
Number of pages32
JournalSociological Quarterly
Volume55
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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