6. Organisations, movements and members

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  • Organisations, movements and members
    • Types of religious organisations
      • Church
        • Membership: open, universal and all-inclusive
        • Hierarchy: complex, formal hierarchy of professioanls
        • Worship: based on traditional rituals
        • View of truth: claim to have monopoly on truth
        • Wider society: accept norms and values of society
        • Expectations: encouraged to attend but not forced
      • Sect
        • M: exclusive. Strong boundaries against outside world. Membership must be earned
        • H: 'Natural leaders' emerge
        • W: little ritual. Spontaneous
        • VoT: rivals to mainstream church. see themselves as elite and expect a future event
        • WS: critical of wider society
        • E: demand high standards of behaviour and commitment
      • Denomination
        • M: open to all but don't seek to include all society
        • H: professional clergy but less than church
        • W: relatively formal although less than church
        • VoT: don't claim to have monopoly, tolerant of other beliefs
        • WS: separate from state but don't reject wider society
        • E: little pressure to commit to organisation
      • Cult
        • M: open to all, no real concept of memebership
        • Similar to sects but more spiritual and don't believe they have a monopoly on the truth
        • H: loosley organised, charismatic leader
        • W: little or no formal worship
        • VoT: don't claim to have truth
        • WS: generally fits with everyday life
        • E: doesn't demand high levels of commitment
      • NRMs (categorised by WALLIS)
        • World-rejecting
          • E.g. the Moonies, Krishna Consciousness, Children of God, the Manson family...
          • Have a clear notion of God, highly critical of wider world, break from former life, live communally, have conservative morals
        • World-accomodating
          • Often breakaways from mainstream churches or denominations.
          • E.g. neo-pentacostalism who split from Catholicism
          • Neither accept or reject the world, focus on religious rather than worldly matters, seek to restore purity of religion
          • Members tend to lead conventional lives
        • World-affirming
          • May lack some conventional feautures of rleigion
          • Offer followers access to spiritual or supernatural powers
          • E.g. Scientology, Soka Gakkai, TM, Human Potential...
          • Accept world as it is, non-exclusive, tolerant of other religions, mopst are cults with customers rather than members
          • Most successful of the movements
      • WALLIS
        • Two characteristics that separate religious organisations
          • How they see themslevs
          • How they are seen y wider society
        • EVAL: STARK & BAINBRIDGE: religions don't fit neatly into these typologies
      • The first typologies came from TROELTSCH who distinguished between sects and cults
      • STARK & BAINBRIDGE
        • Identify 2 kinds of organisations that are in conflict with wider society; sects and cults
          • Sects result from schisms. They break away  from churches
          • Cults are new religions. There are 3 types;
            • Audience cults: least organised, no formal worship, little interaction between members
            • Client cults: provide services to clients, e.g homeopathy
            • Cultic movements: most organised, hgih levels of commitment, aim to meet all followers needs, can only belong to one at a time
    • Explaining the growth of religious movements
      • TROELTSCH- marginality
        • People who feel; pushed to the edges of society are often attracted to sects
        • WEBER supports this and says sects offer an explanation to thei rdisprivelege
        • E.g. the Nation of Islam which drew on disadvantaged black people in America
      • STARK & BAINBRIDGE- relative deprivation
        • Feeling deprived in relation to others around you
        • M/c people may feel spiritually deprived even if they are not financially deprived
        • It is often the deprived who break away and form sects
      • WILSON- social change
        • When there is a lot of social change it disrupts order and norms and values. This creates anomie
        • As a result people will turn to sects as they offer security and certainty
        • WALLIS
          • World-affirming movements may appeal in modern societies where there is increasing change and people no longer have a fixed source of identity
          • World-rejecting movements thrive in times of social change because they offer an idealistic way of life; like when students who are in a period of freedom and transition may lack clear norms an values
      • Dynamics of sects and cults
        • NEIBUHR- denomination or death
          • Sects are short-lived and will either compromise as they grow and become denominations or die out.
          • These sects may die out because the second generation is not that interested, the charastmatic leader dies or the protestant ethic effect occurs where members get rich and no longer need the religion
        • STARK & BAINBRIDGE- sectarian cycle
          • 1. Schism occurs and sect breaks away from mainstream group
          • 2. They form a world-rejecting sect who have an 'initial fervour
          • 3. Initial fervour dies down and it becomes less extreme so becomes an established world-accepting movement
          • 4. some members are unhappy so another schism occurs
        • WILSON- established sects
          • Some sects do last
          • He distinguishes between 2 types of sect; conservationist sects and established sects
          • Sects differ in terms of what they need to be saved
          • Convertionist sects try to convert large numbers and are likely to become denomination
          • Established sects believe they must remain separate from the rest of the world and this prevents them compromising
    • Religiosity and social groups
      • Gender and religiosity
        • More women believe in God, sin, evil, the Devil and the afterlife than men
        • Reasons for gender differences
          • Socialisation and gender roles
            • MILLER & HOFFMAN
              • Women are taught to be submissive and passive, qualities required for a strong religious faith
              • Females have more time to go to church due to being less likely to work full time
              • Women may suffer a lack of idenityt which males can get from their job
            • DAVIE
              • Women are more concerned with the spiritual welfare of their children because of their nuturing nature
            • GREELY
              • Women are more religious because they are  more closely involved in birth, death and sickness
              • Women are more likely to be concerned with 'ultimate questions'
          • Women and the New Age
            • Women are also more likely to be involved in cults and NAMs
            • WOODHEAD & HEELAS
              • Women are more closely associated with nature and healing. Many NAMs focus on these qualities so may offer women a higher status
            • BRUCE
              • Women's experience of child-bearing and rearing make them more concerned with caring so theyre values are more likely to mirror those of NAMs
            • NAMs offer opportunities for self-improvement; women are more liekly to see themselves as in need of this
          • Compensation for deprivation
            • GLOCK & STARK
              • Women are more subjected to different kinds of deprivation
              • Social: lack of prestige and status
              • Organismic: poor physical and mental health
              • Ethical: feeling that the world is in moral decline and sects offer the solution
      • Ethnicity and religiosity
        • Ethnic minorities tend to be more religious than the majority
        • Reasons for ethnic differences
          • Cultural defence
            • BRUCE
              • Culutral identity
              • Support in an uncertain and hostile environment
            • BIRD
              • Basis for community solidarity
              • A means of preserving one's culture and language
              • A way of coping with oppresion in a racist society
          • Cultural transition
            • HERBERG
              • Eases transition into new culture by poviding support and a sense of community
            • PRYCE
              • Studied African Caribbean community in Bristol who showed both cultural defence and transition
              • Pentacostalism helped African Caribbean's to adapt to British society by encouraging self-reliance and thrift
      • Age and religiosity
        • In general religiosity increases as people get older
        • However there is high participation among under 15's because they may be made to do so by parents
        • There is also lower participation amongst over 65's due to a lack of mobility not neccessarily a lack of religious belief
        • Reasons for age differences
          • The ageing effect
            • People turn to religion as they get older because as we get closer to death, we naturally become more concerned with the afterlife
          • The generational effect
            • As society becomes more secular each new generation is less religious than the one before
            • VOAS & CROCKETT
              • This is more useful than the ageing effect
      • Class and religiosity
        • Moor w/c are religious becaus ethey have less existential security
        • The membership of cults in predominantly m/c because they are more concerned with spiritual growth once their material needs have been satisfied

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