Happold Professor and Undergraduate Chair Profile Image
Happold Professor and Undergraduate Chair Sociology pschwadel2@unl.edu (402) 472-6008 740 Oldfather Hall

Curriculum Vitae

Google Scholar


I received my PhD from Pennsylvania State University in 2003. I was then a Postdoctoral Researcher with the National Study of Youth and Religion for two years. Since 2005, I have been a faculty member in the Department of Sociology at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln.

My research focuses on religion and politics in the United States, with an emphasis on social status and social contexts broadly defined. The association between social class and religious beliefs, practices, and affiliations has been a long standing interest of mine, going back to my dissertation. My research also explores the changing nature of Americans’ religious and political perspectives, addressing both temporal and generational changes. Combining these areas of research, some of my recent work examines generational changes in the association between social class and religious and political perspectives. Always looking for the social influence, my work emphasizes how social contexts of various kinds—including religious congregations, social networks, and generational and temporal contexts—affect religious and political outcomes. Information on my publications can be found at my Google Scholars and Researchgate pages.

Current Research

I am currently working on several analyses that address associations between religious and political perspectives using secondary data sources. This research focuses on the indirect effects of religious affiliations and beliefs on political outcomes such as party affiliation, political tolerance, and views of government spending. I also have a continuing project on social networks in churches. My colleagues and I have collected network data in three churches. I plan to continue this line of research with both additional churches and additional waves of data collection within the same church. The latter project in particular could include research opportunities for interested students.

Selected Publications

The Congregational Context

Schwadel, Philip. 2012. “Race, Class, Congregational Embeddedness, and Civic and Political Participation.” Pp. 253-279 in Lisa A. Kesiter, John McCarthy, and Roger Finke (Eds.), Research in the Sociology of Work, Volume 23: Religion, Work, and Inequality. Binkley, UK: Emerald Press.

Schwadel, Philip and Kevin D. Dougherty. 2010. “Assessing Key Informant Methodology in Congregational Research.” Review of Religious Research 51(4):366-379.

Schwadel, Philip. 2009. “Neighbors in the Pews: Social Status Diversity in Religious Congregations.” Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion 5(article 2):1-24 (http://www.religjournal.com).

Schwadel, Philip. 2005 “Individual, Congregational, and Denominational Effects on Church Members’ Civic ParticipationJournal for the Scientific Study of Religion 44(2):159-171.

Religion and Social Class

Schwadel, Philip. 2014. “Are White Evangelical Protestants Lower Class? A Partial Test of Church Sect Theory.” Social Science Research 46:100-116.

Schwadel, Philip. 2014. “Birth Cohort Changes in the Association between College Education and Religious Non-Affiliation.” Social Forces 93(2):719-746.

Schwadel, Philip. 2011 “The Effects of Education on Americans’ Religious Practices, Beliefs, and Affiliations.” Review of Religious Research 53(2):161-182.

Schwadel, Philip, John D. McCarthy, and Hart M. Nelsen. 2009. “The Continuing Relevance of Family Income for Religious Participation: U.S. White Catholic Church Attendance in the Late 20th Century.” Social Forces 87(4):1997-2030.

Social Change (Time Periods and Birth Cohorts)

Schwadel, Philip and Christopher R. H. Garneau. 2014. “An Age-Period-Cohort Analysis of Political Tolerance in the United States.” The Sociological Quarterly 55:421-452.

 Schwadel, Philip. 2013. “Changes in Americans’ Views of Prayer and Reading the Bible in Public Schools: Time Periods, Birth Cohorts, and Religious Traditions.” Sociological Forum 28(2):261-282.

Schwadel, Philip. 2013. “Changes in Americans’ Strength of Religious Affiliation, 1974-2010.” Sociology of Religion 74(1):107-128.

Schwadel, Philip and Michael Stout. 2012. “Age, Period, and Cohort Effects on Social Capital.” Social Forces 91(1):233-252.

Schwadel, Philip. 2011. “Age, Period, and Cohort Effects on Religious Activities and Beliefs.” Social Science Research 40(1):181-192.

Schwadel, Philip. 2010. “Period and Cohort Effects on Religious Non-Affiliation and Religious Disaffiliation: A Research Note.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 49(2):311-319.

Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University

Areas of Specialization:

  • Religion
  • Politics
  • Social Movements
  • Contextual Analysis