Carol Ann MacGregor

Assistant Professor of Sociology, Loyola University New Orleans
Chapter Member: New Orleans SSN

About Carol

MacGregor’s work focuses on changes in the American religious landscape, including declining religious affiliation, and the potential consequences of these changes for other social institutions such as civic associations and schools. Her book manuscript (in progress) looks at the causes and consequences of the closing of Catholic elementary and high schools in the United States.


Why the Decline of Catholic Schools Matters

In the News

Guest to discuss the decline of Catholic Education on Wisconsin Public Radio, Carol Ann MacGregor, April 17, 2018.
Carol Ann MacGregor's research on Catholic school closures discussed by Matthew Grady, "Low Enrollment Threatens Viability of St. Blaise Regional School in Manayunk," NewsWorks, June 13, 2012.


"Networks and Neighborliness: Religion and Social Capital in the Panel Study of Race and Ethnicity" (with Valerie Lewis and Robert Putnam). Social Science Research 42, no. 2 (2013): 331-346.
Examines whether religiosity-based social networks explain the well-established relationship between religion and civic engagement. Finds that a strong network of religious friends is a more powerful explanation for higher levels of civic engagement than other measures of religiosity including beliefs, denominational affiliation, and church attendance.
"Religion and Volunteering in Context: Disentangling the Contextual Effects of Religion on Voluntary Behavior" (with Chaeyoon Lim). American Sociological Review 77, no. 5 (2012): 747-779.
Asks whether religion’s positive effect on volunteering “spills over” to the non-religious through personal ties between religious and non-religious individuals. Finds that non-religious people who have religious friends are more like to volunteer for both religious and non-religious causes.
"The Changing Impact of Religious Nonaffiliation on Schooling: The Educational Trajectories of Three Types of Religious ‘Nones’" (with Rebekah Massnegill). Special Issue of Research in the Sociology of Work 23 (2012): 183-203.
Shows how the stereotype of secular Americans as highly educated scientists and professors does not reflect the true socioeconomic diversity among the non-religious. Finds that while being raised non-religious was once predictive of attending college that relationship has reversed over the last 30 years such that those raised without a religious affiliation are now less likely to attend college.
"Secular and Liminal: Discovering Heterogeneity among Religious Nones" (with Chaeyoon Lim and Robert Putnam). Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 49, no. 4 (2010): 596-618.
Highlights the tremendous diversity within the group of religious non-affiliates (those who do not affiliate with a denomination or religious tradition) and the short-term instability of this identity, the growth of which has garnered much scholarly and media attention.