Program for Empirical Studies and Surveys

Program for Empirical Studies and Surveys



Michele Margolis From Politics To The Pews - Margolis Book Melissa Wilde Birth Control Battles - Wilde Book
Michele Margolis and her book From Politics To The Pews – Melissa Wilde and her book Birth Control Battles


Begun in 2016, the PRRUCS Program for Empirical Studies and Surveys—known as PESS for short—has supported cutting-edge research on religion by social science scholars at Penn, Notre Dame, and other universities, and engaged with the Penn Program for Opinion Research and Election Studies (PORES).

Led by its Associate Faculty Director, Penn Professor of Sociology Melissa Wilde, and joined by Penn Professor of Political Science Michele Margolis and others, PESS supports research that disciplines competing claims regarding how, and how much, religion, religiosity, and religious institutions matter to politics and public affairs, and how various “faith factors” do, or do not, have pro-social, pro-civic, pro-health, and pro-economic effects.

PESS also supports survey research that helps in assessing disparate depictions and predictions regarding America’s religious identities landscape.   Past examples of such PRRUCS support include the following papers:

  • Melissa J. Wilde, Patricia Tevington, and Wensong Shen, “Religious Inequality in America,”Social Inclusion, Volume 6, Issue 2, 2018, Pages 107-126.  (This paper documents the extent to which “profound class differences remain among American religious groups.”)
  • Patricia Tevington, ” ‘You’re Throwing Your Life Away’: Sanctioning of Early Marital Timelines by Religion and Social Class,” Volume 6, Issue 2, Social Inclusion, 2018, Pages 140-150.  (This article documents that “secular influences from outside of” Evangelical Christian and other “religious communities are almost unilaterally critical of early marriage plans,” and highlights “the intersecting roles of religion and social class in shaping the trajectories of young adults”.)

Learn about upcoming events. Sign up for our mailing list.