Pulpits and platforms: The role of the church in determining protest among black Americans

Scott T. Fitzgerald, Ryan E. Spohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This article further specifies the relationship between church-based resources, group identification and political activism among black Americans. Previous research indicates that political communication within churches and activism within the church serve to motivate political participation. Our research suggests that, net of relevant controls, activism within the church does not significantly increase protest politics. A key determinant of protest participation is attending a church that exhibits a politicized church culture, and this effect is contingent upon educational attainment and membership in secular organizations. Hence, the church serves as a crucial context for the dissemination of political messages and exposure to opportunities for protest only for those black Americans with relatively low educational achievement and organizational involvement Group identification has no effect on protest participation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1015-1048
Number of pages34
JournalSocial Forces
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Pulpits and platforms: The role of the church in determining protest among black Americans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this