Why Worry about Evolution? Boundaries, Practices, and Moral Salience in Sunni and Evangelical High Schools

Sociological Theory 34 (2):151-174 (2016)

Abstract
Previous work on conservative Protestant creationism fails to account for other creationists who are much less morally invested in opposition to evolution, raising the sociological question: What causes issues’ moral salience? Through ethnographic fieldwork in four creationist high schools in the New York City area (two Sunni Muslim and two conservative Protestant), I argue that evolution is more important to the Christian schools because it is dissonant with their key practices and boundaries. The theory of evolution is salient for American Evangelicals because it is dissonant with reading the Bible literally, which is both their key practice and key boundary. For American Muslims, the key practice is prayer, and the key boundary is gender performance, neither of which is dissonant with evolution. These cases provide evidence for a theory of moral salience that is more cultural and micro-level than the typical political and macro-level studies of issues’ political salience.
Keywords Morality  Salience  Practices
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DOI 10.1177/0735275116649220
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References found in this work BETA

Sources of the Self.Allen W. Wood - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (3):621.
After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory.John Casey - 1983 - Philosophical Quarterly 33 (132):296-300.
Theory Construction in Qualitative Research.Stefan Timmermans & Iddo Tavory - 2012 - Sociological Theory 30 (3):167-186.

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