Unit 4 Section B - Religion
This is a data response paper so you will have one item to read and refer to.
Note - be careful not to spend too long on the short sections - 8 marks is about 8 minutes of writing
i.e. roughly half a page. You may find it easier to do the 40 mark essay first.
The paper is divided into two short answer questions 4(a) and 4(b) and one essay 4(c). You are
given two to choose from.
Question 4 (a) (8 marks)
All the questions begin with
Identify and briefly explain:
June 2008- Identify and briefly explain some of the problems in measuring the extent of religious
belief in society today.
January 2008- Identify and briefly explain some of the arguments and evidence for the view that
Britain is less religious now than it was in the past.
June 2007 - Identify and briefly explain some of the ways in which functionalists see religion meeting
the needs of society and/or individuals.
January 2007 - some of the characteristic features of sects.
June 2006 - some of the ways in which religion could be said to 'exert social control over the
members of society'
January 2006 - some of the reasons why New Religious Movements have such a high turnover of
June 2005 - some of the reasons why church attendance might be seen as an unreliable measure of
Note - this refers to the changes in the UK where increasingly people claim to still 'believe' but do not
January 2005 - two pieces of evidence that might lead sociologists such as Bryan Wilson (in the
item) to conclude that modernity brings with it a decline in the importance of religion.
Note - if it asked for two then set it out clearly as two paragraphs.
June 2004 - some of the reasons why interest in and commitment to alternative spiritual groups may
be relatively "short-lived".
January 2004 - some of the reasons why women have a higher participation rate in religion than
Note - make synoptic links with the socialisation of females and demographically about life
January 2003 - two examples of sociological evidence that might be used to support the
postmodernist view (expressed in item A) that the "grand narrative" of religion has collapsed.
Other pages in this set
June 2002 - two problems in assessing the influence of religion in modern society.
Question 4 (b) (12 marks)
Note - This question refers to an item so you will have that to help you.
June 2008- Briefly examine the view that conservative or orthodox or traditionalist movements have
become more significant and have increased their influence in the world today.
January 2008- Briefly examine the view that there is a great deal of religious and spiritual activityin
5. Assess the view that religion was once mainly a conservative influence but today is more of a force
for social change.
6. Evaluate postmodernist explanations of the role and functions of religion in contemporary society.
5. The relationship between religious beliefs, religious organisations and different social groups is
complex and diverse. Different groups have different needs and priorities.
To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence support this view?
Assess the view that cults and sects inevitably turn into denominations and churches.
5. "The main function of religion in society today is to dull the pain of oppression"To what extent do
sociological arguments and evidence support this view of religion today?
Note - the quote is from a Marxist perspective which needs to be contrasted with alternative
perspectives. Provide up-to-date examples for both arguments.
6. "There is more to religion than just belief.
Post-Modern society) and that some could become mainstream
in the future.
6. "Claims that the United Kingdom is now a secular society are wrong. Both religious activity and
religious belief are flourishing." To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence support this
Note - One of the top themes that you will probably hope for as you will have revised this
thoroughly! Be aware that this specifically refers to the UK so do not spend too much time discussing