Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

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(1882-1973) Sociologist; awarded B.A. (1908) and M.A. degrees (1909) by Northwestern University and his Ph.D. (1911) by the University of Chicago. From 1911 to 1946, he taught at the University of Southern California, and for 31 years he was Chairman of the Department of Sociology at USC, where he made an enormous contribution to the development of sociology. He founded the journal Sociology and Social Research and went on to edit it for more than 45 years. In 1931, he was elected President of the American Sociological Association.

With the assistance and encouragement of Robert E. Park, Bogardus produced the "Bogardus Social Distance Scale," which was widely used in social research on prejudice, including religious prejudice. The term social distance attempts to measure degrees of tolerance or prejudice between social groups, including religious groups (e.g., Would you want to live next to a Catholic? Would you have a Catholic into your home? Would you want your son or daughter to marry a Catholic?). The scale is assumed to be cumulative and has had the longest period of usage of any special research device developed by sociologists. This research was developed during the 1920s, when Bogardus was the Director of the Pacific Coast Race Relations Survey.

Luigi Tomasi


E. S. Bogardus, "A Social Distance Scale," Sociology and Social Research 3(1933):265-271

M. N. Neumayer, "Dr. Emory Bogardus, 1882-1973," Sociology and Social Research 43(1973):1-5.

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