Daniel V. A. Olson
Professor of Sociology
Dept. of Sociology, Stone Hall
700 W. State Street
West Lafayette, Indiana 47907-2059
765-494-4861 -- Use email (below), people seldom call this number and it is not checked frequently.
email@example.com E-mail is often the best way to reach me. I check it regularly.
Office: Stone Hall 338
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Full Vita Online
All of my articles and book chapters are available online by request from a special web page -- contact me for the web address firstname.lastname@example.org
For Prospective Graduate Students
Current Research Interests: In past research I and my coauthors (mostly graduate students) have examined how the religious composition of geographic areas (e.g., the percent Catholic, the diversity of religion in an area) affect level and types of religious commitment of people living in the same area. My current and future work takes it inspiration Weber’s Protestant Ethic argument. It focuses on the way that the religious composition of people living in an area influences the behavior and attitudes of everyone living in the same area, even people with no religion and people whose religion is different from the majority religion. The hypothesis is that religions create strong religious subcultures. These influence local secular subcultures, and local subcultures, in turn, influence the behavior and attitudes of individuals living in the area. My recent findings, published with graduate students (see my CV), shows how the religious composition of cities and counties affects dependent variables as varied as the willingness of survey respondents to trust others (Marshall and Olson 2018) and frequency of underage drinking among young respondents (Nie, Yang, and Olson 2018). This is a newly developing area of research. Other researchers have recently found that religious composition variables influence divorce and teen pregnancy rates, county-level mortality and infant mortality rates, and rates for certain kinds of crimes. Not all of these influences are positive.
I am looking to work with quantitatively-inclined graduate students who want to explore how other kinds of dependent variables (e.g., attitudes toward gun-control, support for different kinds of government spending, and other variables of interest to graduate students) are influenced by the religious composition of the areas where respondents live (while controlling for economic, political, and other characteristics of the individuals and the areas where the respondents live).
Recent Papers (*=graduate student at time of submission) -- contact me for copies -- see above
Marshall, Joey* and Daniel V. A. Olson (equal co-authorship). Forthcoming. “Is ‘Spiritual but not Religious’ a Replacement for Religion or Just One Step on the Path Between Religion and Non-Religion?” Review of Religious Research.
Marshall, Joey* and Daniel V. A. Olson. 2018. "Local Religious Subcultures and Generalized Social Trust in the United States." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 57: 473-494. https://doi.org/10.1111/jssr.12539
Nie, Fanhao*, Xiaozhao Yang*, and Daniel V. A. Olson. 2018. “Religious
Context Matters: Exploring the Relationship between Religious Context and
Underage Alcohol Consumption.” Review of Religious Research.
Jung, Jong Hyun* and Daniel V. A. Olson. 2017.“Where Does Religion Matter Most?
A Multinational Analysis of Religion and the Acceptability of Wife Beating.”
Sociological Inquiry. 87: 608-633.
Nie, Fanhao* and Daniel V. A. Olson. 2016. “Demonic Influence: Exploring the Relationship between a Belief in Demons and Change in Mental Health.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 55: 498-515.
Olson, Daniel V. A. and Miao Li*. 2015. "How
Does the Religious Composition of Nations Affect Generalized Social Trust? Moral
Community and Religious Heterogeneity." Journal for the Scientific Study of
Jung, Jong Hyun* and Daniel V. A. Olson. 2014. “Religion, Stress, and Suicide Acceptability in South Korea” Social Forces 92(3): 1039-1059.
Alper, Becka* and Daniel V. A. Olson. 2013. “Religious Population Share and Religious Identity Salience: Is Jewish Identity More Important to Jews in High Jewish Population Share Areas?” Sociology of Religion 74:82-106.
Thomas, Jeremy N.* and Daniel V. A. Olson. 2012. “Evangelical Elites’ Changing Responses to Homosexuality 1960-2009.” Sociology of Religion. 73:239-272.
Thomas, Jeremy N.* and Daniel V. A. Olson. 2012. “Beyond the Culture War: Managing Sexual Relationships Inside a Congregation of Gay Evangelicals.” Review of Religious Research. 54:349–70.
Alper, Becka* and Daniel V. A. Olson. 2011. “Religious Geography and the Case of the Jewish Outsider.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 50:822–830.
Older Papers Online
Olson and Perl. 2011. A Friend in Creed: Does the Religious Composition of Geographic Areas Affect the Religious Composition of a Person's Close Friends? JSSR
Thomas and Olson. 2010. Testing the Strictness Thesis and Competing Theories of Congregational Growth JSSR
Hill and Olson. 2009. Market Share and Religious Competition: Do Small Market Share Congregations and Their Leaders Try Harder? JSSR
Olson 2008. RRA Presidential Address Why Do Small Religious Groups Have More Committed Members? RRR
Recent Conference Presentations -- gives an idea of my current research agenda
Olson, Daniel V. A. 2018 “The Influence of Your Neighbors’ Religions on You, Your Attitudes and Behaviors, and Your Community” Presidential Address to the Association for the Sociology of Religion at their Annual Meetings, Philadelphia, PA, August 2018.
Olson, Daniel V. A., Joey Marshall*, and Jong Hyun Jung*. 2017. “Does Religious Diversity Have Different Effects on the Growth/Decline of Different Kinds of Denominations?” Presented at the annual meetings of the Society for The Scientific Study of Religion, October, Washington, DC.
Olson, Daniel V. A., Jong Hyun Jung*, Joey Marshall*. 2016. “Does County Religious Composition Affect the Growth and Decline of Denominations?” Presented at the annual meetings of the Society for The Scientific Study of Religion, October, Atlanta, GA.
Marshall, Joey* and Daniel V. A. Olson. 2016. “Local Religious Subcultures and Generalized Social Trust in the United States.” Presented at the annual meetings of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, October, Atlanta, GA.
Marshall, Joey*, Daniel V. A. Olson, Jong Hyun Jung*. 2016. “Inequality and Religiosity in the United States: A Test of the Existential Insecurity Hypothesis.” Presented at the annual meetings of the Association for the Sociology of Religion, August, Seattle, WA.
Olson, Daniel V. A. 2015. “Do Different Varieties of Religious Presence Affect Community Health and Trust Levels?” Hartford Seminary, Hartford, CT, November 14th. Invited Presentation for mini-conference on the occasion of the retirement of David Roozen, Hartford Seminary.
Olson, Daniel V. A., Joey Marshall*, Mike Vuolo. 2015. "Does Religious Diversity Reduce Individual Religiosity Over Time Among Teens and Young Adults?" Presented at the annual meetings of the Society for Scientific Study of Religion, October, Newport Beach, California.
Sociology of Religion
Research Methods and Statistics
Courses I have taught and will be teaching at Purdue:
Other Selected Publications
1999 "Religious Pluralism and U.S. Church membership: A Reassessment." Sociology of Religion. 60 (2):149-173.