Contributor(s)Leamaster, Reid J.
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AbstractThis study illustrates intergenerational religious mobility with the case of Chinese society. Using the quasi-symmetric log-linear model to separate structure mobility from exchange mobility, we examine the variation in religious identities between the reform era generation and their parents. Structure mobility results suggest that the encompassing social reform over the past decades in China has encouraged the structural growth of Islam and Christianity across generations, but traditional Chinese religions bear remarkable intergenerational disadvantages. Moreover, religious nones are growing across generations, at least relative to traditional Chinese religions. Exchange mobility findings indicate that individuals whose parents follow traditional Chinese religions are very likely to “convert” to Christianity. However, children of religious nones do not necessarily remain irreligious, possibly undermining the structural advantages of religious nones in the future. Finally, a comparison between cohort and period effects drives us to conclude that the major social force underpinning the revival of Chinese religion in the reform era is generational replacement instead of an increasingly religious transition of “old” generations.
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