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Working paper

Strength and Positivity of Religious Identification as Predictors of the Attitude Toward Economic Involvement Among Orthodox Christians and Sunni Muslims in Russia

This study presents the results of empirical research on the relationship between strength and positivity of religious identification and attitudes towards economic behaviour in a group of Orthodox Christians and Sunni Muslims in Russia (N=820). In order to measure strength and positivity of religious identification, we constructed scales based on the theory of social identity. Attitudes toward models of economic behaviour were measured using methodology to measure economic attitudes based on the scenario approach. The results revealed that attitudes towards three models of economic behaviour form a single factor of economic involvement. In addition, generalized economic involvement was confirmed by a simultaneous CFA in both religious groups. In our study we found that strength and positivity of religious identification are differently associated with the attitudes toward economic involvement. Thus, it was concluded that the strength of religious identification is not conducive to attitudes reflecting economic involvement. Positivity of religious identification was found to have a positive effect on economic involvement attitudes. However, further analysis demonstrated that the relationship between positivity of religious identification and economic involvement had interfaith specifics: positivity of religious identification was positively related to the models of economic involvement only in the group of Christians, while in the group of Muslims, this relationship is insignificant. The results are discussed in terms of features of religious identification in these two groups.