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ERIC Number: EJ1011927
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
ISSN: ISSN-1551-2169
Portraits of Religion in Introductory American Government Textbooks: Images of Tolerance or Intolerance
Eisenstein, Marie A.; Clark, April K.
Journal of Political Science Education, v9 n1 p89-107 2013
The link between religion and political tolerance in the United States, which has focused predominantly on Christianity, is replete with unfavorable images. Often, religious adherents (largely Evangelicals or the Christian right) are characterized as uneducated, poor, and white, suggesting that members of these groups may act in an intolerant manner. Our objective is to examine how different religious groups and individuals of faith pictorially appear within introductory American government textbooks. Are they visually portrayed as politically tolerant or intolerant? Are the images of individuals and groups presented as exercising rights to speech, assembly, and petition or as a threat to others' civil rights? What general themes or issues surrounding the visual representation of religion and politics are emphasized? We find that the textbook depictions show religious individuals in a tolerant light (just about as likely to be the victims, as the perpetrators, of intolerance), educated, and not poor. Although people of color are shown in numerically similar proportions to that in the U.S. population, there is an overrepresentation of the Muslim faith. Legal issues surrounding the separation of church and state emerged as one dominant theme in the textbooks. Finally, the textbook pictures convey a message that religion and politics are connected with a number of the images mixing the two. (Contains 3 tables and 29 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A