Zich bekeren en wisselen van kerkgenootschap in Nederland [Conversion and switching between religious denominations in the Netherlands]
SourceMens en Maatschappij, 80, 4, (2005), pp. 288-304
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR SOC
Mens en Maatschappij
SubjectInequality Cohesion Rationalization; Ongelijkheid Cohesie Rationalisatie
In this article, we examine why people in the Netherlands switch between religious denominations or become a convert. To do so, we use 21 representative surveys held between 1966 and 2003. We derive hypotheses from the integration theory, modernization theory (secularisation theory) and the supply side theory (version of rational choice theory). Becoming a convert or religious switching are rare phenomena in the Netherlands: 4.5 percent of the population switches between denominations and 2.6 percent becomes a convert. In line with secularisation theory, people who are raised non-religious almost always stay non-religious while people who were raised in a certain denomination are more likely to leave the church or to switch denominations. Also in line with this theory is the finding that over time, less people convert to religion and more and more people leave the church of their parents. In line with the social capital hypotheses, we find that Protestants more often switch between denominations than Catholics. More specifically, orthodox Protestants switch more often than liberal Protestants. Of all factors that influence religious mobility, the denomination of the spouse is most important: people in a religiously mixed marriage switch significantly more often than people in a religiously homogeneous marriage. Switching and converting are almost all towards the denomination of the spouse.
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