And Be Not Conformed to this World: The Impact of Religion on the Political Participation of Black Americans in the Non-Metropolitan South, a Case Study of Hunt County, Texas

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

Date of Award

Summer 2014


This thesis is designed to examine the impact of religious participation on the political participation of black Americans that worship in the non-metropolitan South in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. To that end, it makes use of a survey questionnaire administered to black American congregants at the churches located in Commerce, Texas' historically segregated community. The survey questionnaire covers demographic information, religious beliefs and participation, and campaign and electoral participation in the 2008 and 2012 election cycles. Though the 2008 and 2012 elections offer an opportunity to measure the turnout of black Americans, there are many ways to participate politically outside of casting a ballot. This study attempts to capture multiple means of participation, as well as the impact that the black church may have had on that participation in the non-metropolitan South. It found that the churches in the studied community functioned as political churches in the 2008 and 2012 elections, but also found that active participation in a non-metropolitan church was not positively related to active political participation outside of voting.


Chad King

Subject Categories

Political Science | Social and Behavioral Sciences