This study explores the traditional views of assimilationists and cultural retentionists on the outcome of an encounter between two heterogeneous groups. Proponents of contact theory along with social capital theorists argue that greater contact and social capital between two groups result in more similarity between them. Other scholars predict that social contact fosters distinction. This study compares the effects of social capital on religious values and practices among the socially connected Taiwanese (benshengren) and Chinese (waishengren) in Taiwan. Data from the 2006 Asia Barometer and repeated cross-sections (2004, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011) of the Taiwan Social Change Survey indicate that the Chinese are significantly different from the Taiwanese in terms of the effects of social capital on religious values and practices. The Chinese in Taiwan are also distinct from the Taiwanese in terms of the effects of gender norms on religious values and practices. These findings provide additional evidence for cultural retention rather than assimilation among Chinese in Taiwan.
|Review of Religion and Chinese Society
|Published - 2016