The Millennial View: Today's 18-to-29-Year Olds Grapple with Ideas of Race, Politics and Religion in New Study

By Abdul-Alim, Jamaal | Diverse Issues in Higher Education, July 19, 2012 | Go to article overview

The Millennial View: Today's 18-to-29-Year Olds Grapple with Ideas of Race, Politics and Religion in New Study


Abdul-Alim, Jamaal, Diverse Issues in Higher Education


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

When researchers at the Public Religion Research Institute and Georgetown University set out earlier this year to sketch a portrait of college-age millennials, they expected to find a lot of diversity.

What they didn't anticipate, says Daniel Cox, director of research and co-founder of the institute, was so much division.

"One of the things that we were most startled by was the significant division that we found, particularly on issues of race and religion," Cox said regarding one of the institute's latest reports, titled "A Generation in Transition: Religion, Values, and Politics among College-Age Millennials: Findings from the 2012 Millennial Values Survey."

Cox said while the Millennial Generation--today's 18 to 29-year-olds--is often thought of as more diverse and more tolerant than previous generations, "we found stark differences between the views of White millennials and African-American and Hispanic millennials, particularly around the vote."

Indeed, the survey--which the institute conducted jointly with Georgetown's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs--found stark differences in viewpoints along both racial and religious lines not only with respect to the 2012 presidential election, but when it comes to things that range from whether poor people have become overly reliant on government assistance programs to whether Whites are being subjected to reverse discrimination.

The survey also found differences in which millennials list their religion on their Facebook pages.

When it comes to religious identity, however, it's becoming increasingly difficult to put this generation into one particular religious category, the survey found.

That's because they are moving away from the religions in which they were raised at unprecedented rates, although this phenomenon is occurring mostly among White millennials, particularly in the Catholic faith, the survey found.

Disenchanted with the establishment

Mark Taylor, a millennial expert who works with faculty to help them better connect with young people, suggests this movement is being driven by many college-age students coming to view organized religion as "strongly morally judgmental without accepting responsibility to accept truly 'religious' missions, like helping the poor and socially disenfranchised."

Taylor said there are other factors turning millenials away from identifying with a particular religious affiliation.

"Sex abuse scandals in the Catholic church, accusations of fiscal mismanagement and opulent living in the public faces of mainstream Evangelical pastors point to hypocrisies that reduce millennial support," Taylor said.

The "Generation in Transition" study adds to the growing body of research that shows millennials being less religion-affiliated and coalescing around support for various social issues, according to some specialists.

"We've also seen a rise in the percentage of young people who do not identify with a particular religion," said Scott Keeter, Director of Survey Research at the Pew Research Center.

"Their [PRRI and Georgetown's] findings on support for legal abortion are similar to ours, as are their findings on support in this age group for same-sex marriage."

The effect of race on politics

While millennials are evidently becoming less religious-affiliated, where clear religious lines do exist, often so do divergent views, the survey found.

The same is true along lines of race and ethnicity.

The upcoming 2012 presidential election is a case in which the survey found significant divisions along lines of both race and religion.

For instance, while President Barack Obama held "overwhelming leads" over a generic Republican opponent among Black and Hispanic millennial voters (92 percent vs. 2 percent, respectively, and 61 vs.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Millennial View: Today's 18-to-29-Year Olds Grapple with Ideas of Race, Politics and Religion in New Study
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.