Journal Article

Elite Power: Social Networks Within American Evangelicalism (Winner of the Robert J. McNamara Student Paper Award 2005)

D. Michael Lindsay

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 67, issue 3, pages 207-227
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/socrel/67.3.207
Elite Power: Social Networks Within American Evangelicalism (Winner of the Robert J. McNamara Student Paper Award 2005)

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Although several studies have examined American evangelicalism as a social movement at the grassroots level, none have attended to the role of public leaders in legitimating the movement to a wider audience. Data gathered from 65 elite informants who self-identify as evangelical suggest that the movement's leaders are employing new modes of organization to achieve collective goals. While these goals remain largely unchanged from those reviewed in earlier research, the means to achieve them are indeed novel within the evangelical movement. These findings have implications for studies of other groups that originate in the social periphery but move to more mainstream positions within a given social field. Results suggest that three key elements accompany the development of new modes of organization: institutional arrangements, legitimation strategies, and confirmatory narratives.

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Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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