Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Religious Identity and Descriptive Representation

  • Walter Schmidt (a1) and Matthew R. Miles (a1)
Abstract

Drawing on the descriptive representation literature, we argue that religious identity is a social identity similar to gender or race, which leads a person to feel represented by someone who shares their religious identity. We argue that religious identity motivates approbation for public officials that is distinct from partisanship. We find that constituents who share the religious identity of their congressional representatives are significantly more likely to approve of their representative's performance in office. In addition, those who share a religious identity with President Obama are more trusting of him; particularly among those for whom religion is important. Finally, we find that shared religious identity moderates the relationship between partisanship and trust in the President. All else equal, Republicans who share a religious identity with President Obama are 500% more likely to trust him than a Republican who does not.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Walter Schmidt, Department of Political Science, Brigham Young University-Idaho, 525 S. Center Street, Rexburg, ID 83462-2160. E-mail: jerico_soccer15@hotmail.com; or to: Matthew R. Miles, Department of Political Science Brigham Young University-Idaho, 525 S. Center Street, Rexburg, ID 83462-2160. E-mail: milesma@byui.edu.
Footnotes
Hide All
We would like to thank Paul Djupe, Marcus Schmidt, and three anonymous reviewers for their feedback on this manuscript. A previous version of this article was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association (2015) which would not have been possible without the generous support of the Thomas E. Ricks fund for mentored student research.
Footnotes
References
Hide All
Altemeyer, Bob, and Hunsberger, Bruce. 1992. “Authoritarianism, Religious Fundamentalism, Quest, and Prejudice. The International Journal for the Psychology Of Religion 2:113133.
Ansolabehere, Stephen. 2012, “CCES Common Content, 2010.” http://hdl.handle.net/1902.1/17705 (Accessed on June 29, 2016).
Banducci, Susan A., Donovan, Todd, and Karp, Jeffrey A. 2004. “Minority Representation, Empowerment, and Participation.” Journal of Politics 66:534556.
Bobo, Lawrence, and Gilliam, Franklin D. 1990. “Race, Sociopolitical Participation, and Black Empowerment.” American Political Science Review 84:377393.
Bratton, Kathleen A. 2002. “The Effect of Legislative Diversity on Agenda Setting Evidence from Six State Legislatures.” American Politics Research 30:115142.
Bratton, Kathleen A, and Haynie, Kerry L. 1999. “Agenda Setting and Legislative Success in State Legislatures: The Effects of Gender And Race.” The Journal of Politics 61:658679.
Citrin, Jack, and Green, Donald Philip. 1986. “Presidential Leadership and the Resurgence of Trust in Government. British Journal of Political Science 16:431453.
Dalton, Russell J. 2004. Democratic Challenges, Democratic Choices: The Erosion of Political Support in Advanced Industrial Democracies. Of Comparative Politics. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Dalton, Russell J. 2005. “The Social Transformation of Trust in Government.” International Review of Sociology 15:133154.
Day, Abby. 2011. “Believing in Belonging: Belief and Social Identity in the Modern World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Delli Carpini, Michael X., and Keeter, Scott. 1996. What Americans Know about Politics and Why it Matters. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Eulau, Heinz, and Karps, Paul D. 1977. “The Puzzle of Representation: Specifying Components Of Responsiveness. Legislative Studies Quarterly 2:233254.
Fenno, Richard F. 1978. Home Style: House Members in their Districts. Boston, MA: Little, Brown.
Friesen, Amanda, and Ksiazkiewicz, Aleksander. 2014. “Do Political Attitudes and Religiosity Share a Genetic Path?Political Behavior doi:10.1007/s11109-014-9291-3.
Gay, Claudine. 2002. “The Effect of Black Congressional Representation on Political Participation.” The American Political Science Review 95:589617.
Gervais, Will M., Shariff, Azim F., and Norenzayan, Ara. 2011. “Do You Believe in Atheists? Distrust is Central to Anti-Atheist Prejudice.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 101:1189.
Graham, Jesse, and Haidt, Jonathan. 2010. “Beyond Beliefs: Religions Bind Individuals into Moral Communities.” Personality and Social Psychology Review 14:140150.
Griffiths, A Phillips, and Wollheim, Richard. 1960. “Symposium: How Can One Person Represent Another?Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 34:187224.
Haider-Markel, Donald P. 2007. “Representation and Backlash: The Positive and Negative Influence of Descriptive Representation.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 32:107133.
Haidt, Jonathan. 2012. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided By Politics And Religion. New York, NY: Random House LLC.
Hawkesworth, Mary. 2003. “Congressional Enactments of Race–Gender: Toward a Theory of Hawkesworth, Mary. Institutions.” American Political Science Review 97:529550.
Hetherington, Marc J., and Rudolph, Thomas J.. 2015. Why Washington Won't Work: Polarization, Political Trust, And The Governing Crisis. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Hibbing, Jon R., and Theiss-Morse, Elizabeth. 2002. Stealth Democracy: Americans' Beliefs About How Government Should Work. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Howell, Susan E, and Fagan, Deborah. 1988. “Race and Trust in Government Testing the Political Reality Model.” Public Opinion Quarterly 52:343350.
Jacobsmeier, Matthew L. 2013. “Religion and Perceptions of Candidates' Ideologies in United States House Elections.” Politics and Religion 6:342372.
Johnson, Dominic, and Bering, Jesse. 2006. “Hand of God, Mind of Man: Punishment and Cognition in the Evolution of Cooperation.” Evolutionary Psychology doi:147470490600400119.
Keele, Luke. 2007. “Social Capital and the Dynamics of Trust in Government.” American Journal of Political Science 51:241254.
Kingdon, John W. 1995. Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Longman.
Layman, Geoffrey C. 2001. The Great Divide: Religious and Cultural Conflict in American Party Politics. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
Ludeke, Steven, Johnson, Wendy, and Bouchard, Thomas J. 2013. “Obedience to Traditional Authority: A Heritable Factor Underlying Authoritarianism, Conservatism and Religiousness.” Personality and Individual Differences 55:375380.
Mansbridge, Jane. 1999. “Should Blacks Represent Blacks and Women Represent Women? A Contingent “Yes.” The Journal of Politics 61:628657.
McDermott, Monika L. 2007. “Voting for Catholic Candidates: The Evolution of a Stereotype.” Social Science Quarterly 88:953969.
McDermott, Monika L. 2009. “Religious Stereotyping and Voter Support For Evangelical Candidates.” Political Research Quarterly 62:340354.
Miles, Matthew R. 2015. “Some Folks You Just Can't Reach: The Genetic Heritability of Presidential Approval.” Presidential Studies Quarterly 45:760777.
Miller, Arthur H. 1974. “Political Issues and Trust in Government: 1964–1970.” American Political Science Review 68:951972.
Muldoon, Orla T., Trew, Karen, Todd, Jennifer, Rougier, Nathalie, and McLaughlin, Katrina. 2007. “Religious and National Identity after the Belfast Good Friday Agreement.” Political Psychology 28:89103.
Norenzayan, Ara, and Shariff, Azim F.. 2008. “The Origin and Evolution of Religious Prosociality.” Science 322:5862.
Norris, Pippa. 1999. Critical Citizens: Global Support for Democratic Government. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Pew Research Center. 2008. “Faith on the Hill: 2008.” http://www.pewforum.org/files/2008/12/appendix.pdf (Accessed on March 20, 2015).
Pitkin, Hanna Fenichel. 1967. The Concept of Representation. Oakland, CA: University of California Press.
Public Trust in Government: 1958–2014.” 2014. http://www.people-press.org/2014/11/13/public-trust-in-government (Accessed on January 13, 2016).
Purzycki, Benjamin Grant, Apicella, Coren, Atkinson, Quentin D., Cohen, Emma, McNamara, Rita Anne, Willard, Aiyana K, Xygalatas, Dimitris, Norenzayan, Ara, and Henrich, Joseph. 2016. “Moralistic Gods, Supernatural Punishment and the Expansion Of Human Sociality.” Nature 530:327330.
Rosenthal, Doreen A., and Hrynevich, Christine. 1985. “Ethnicity and Ethnic Identity: A Comparative Study of Greek-, Italian-, and Anglo-Australian adolescents.” International journal of psychology 20:723742.
Saad, Lydia. 2016. Government Named Top U.S. Problem for Second Straight Year. Washington, DC: Gallup.
Sosis, Richard. 2000. “Religion and Intragroup Cooperation: Preliminary Results of a Comparative Analysis of Utopian Communities.” Cross-Cultural Research 34:7087.
Sosis, Richard, and Alcorta, Candace. 2003. “Signaling, Solidarity, and the Sacred: The Evolution of Religious Behavior.” Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews 12:264274.
Tocqueville, Alexis de. 1835. Democracy in America. 4 vols. London: Saunders and Otley.
Verkuyten, Maykel. 2004. The Social Psychology of Ethnic Identity. New York, NY: Psychology Press.
Verkuyten, Maykel, and Yildiz, Ali Aslan. 2007. “National (dis) Identification and Ethnic and Religious Identity: A Study Among Turkish-Dutch Muslims.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 33:14481462.
Wong, Carolyn. 2006. Lobbying for Inclusion: Rights Politics and the Making of Immigration Policy. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Politics and Religion
  • ISSN: 1755-0483
  • EISSN: 1755-0491
  • URL: /core/journals/politics-and-religion
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed