Religiosity and social groups

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  • Religiosity and social groups
    • Gender
      • In religion, men tend to lead dominant roles and women tend to participate more.
      • Hoffman - woman are more religious as they are socialised to be passive/ obedient/ caring.
        • Women are most likely to be in part-time jobs thus having time to organise religious activities.
      • Davie - women are closer to birth/death as it brings them closer to 'ultimate questions' about the meaning of life where religion is concerned.
      • New Age - appeals to women as they celebrate 'natural' and involve cults of healing, giving women higher status and self-worth.
      • Glock, Stark and Bainbridge - people may participate in religon due to compensators, which is common among women.
        • Organismic deprivation - women are more likely to suffer ill health thus seeking healing through religion.
        • Ethical deprivation - women are morally conservative so they see the world in moral decline and attract sects that share this view.
        • Social deprivation - more likely to be poor which is why there are more women in sects that attract poorer groups.
      • Criticisms
        • May be attracted to fundamentalism due to the certainties of traditional gender roles.
    • Ethnicity
      • More ethnic minority religions are becoming popular and have higher participation rates.
      • Country of origin - most minorities originate from poorer countries with traditional culture, poducing higher levels of belief and practice which they maintain in UK.
      • Several reasons: country of origin; cultural defence and transition.
      • Cultural defence - religion offrs a ultural identity in a hostile environment.
        • Bird - religion among minorities can be a basis for community solidarity to cope with oppression in a racist society.
      • Cultural transition - religion is a means of easing the transition into a new culture with support and a sense of community.
        • Herberg - high levels of religious participation where among first-generation immigrants in USA.
        • Pryce - study of African Caribbean community in Bristol - cultural defence and transition are both important.
          • Pentecostalism helped them adapt to British society via the protestant ethic effect. Rastafarianism was the oppsity as they saw society as racist and exploitative.
    • Age
      • General pattern is that the older you are the more likely to attend to church.
      • But under 15s go because their parents tell them too, and over 65s can't due to sickness or disability.
      • Voas and Corckett - the ageing affect; people turn to religion as they get older.
      • Heelas - as we approach death we naturally become concerned with spiritual matters.
      • Generational effect - society becomes more secular, each new generation is less religious.
        • More old people than young people attend churches today as they grew up when religion was more popular.
      • See this effect more significant as if this continues we expect a rise in the average age of churchgoers.
      • Bruce agrees with exception of Pentecostal churches as they attract younger members.
      • Gill - children are less religious as they are not receiving religious socialisation.


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