Maurizio Pisati

La domenica andando alla messa. Un'analisi metodologica e sostantiva di alcuni dati sulla partecipazione degli italiani alle funzioni religiose

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The purpose of this paper is to carry out a methodological and substantive analysis of some data on church attendance in post-war Italy. First, it is shown that available data, taken at their "face value", are hardly comparable since they have been collected using different questions and procedures. Some techniques for improving the comparability of the data at hand are discussed and applied, and the standardized measures of church attendance thus obtained are then analyzed in order to detect change over time. Results show that church attendance rates have rapidly decreased in the period 1956-1981, remained substantially stable until the beginning of the Nineties, and finally started to decline again, though at a much slower pace.

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