Arguments For Secularisation

AQA A2 Sociology topic on Secularisation - arguments for the debate of whether society is becoming Secular.

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  • Created on: 17-02-12 18:39
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Arguments for Secularisation (AQA A2
Secularisation is the process in which religious institutions, actions
and practises loose their significance in contemporary society
Religious Thinking Refers to whether people's perceptions include
notions about God, heaven & hell, god & evil etc.
Religious Practise Refers to whether people are committed to
engaging in religious worship, devotion and following belief.
Note: On which level does secularisation occur? Perhaps religious
thinking is flourishing, whilst only religious practise has gone down.
UK and Secularisation
­ Very few religious channels
­ Few people go to church
­ Religion kept out of politics
Crocket (1998) using the 1851 census, came to the conclusion that
people were more church going in the past, 40% going to church
regularly on Sundays.
21st century trends:
­ Fewer church weddings and baptisms
­ A decline in the proportion that go to church
­ Older people more likely to attend church
­ More religious diversity
Statistical Evidence
­ 1851 40% went to church
­ 1997 8.2% went to church

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Rising divorce rates, increasing cohabitation, serial monogamy
suggests that religion (as a moral guide) could be less
Note Do we need religion for morals, or do we have Free Will?
Note What about other modern methods of access to religious practise
such as GOD Channels, Websites, practising at home etc?
Measuring Secularisation
Validity Are the official statistics findings a true reflection of
people's beliefs?
Definitions of Religious Behaviour Does going every week or
once a year to church differ in how 'religious' someone is?…read more

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Wilson argues that industrialisation has fragmented religion,
and this has led to wider expression of faith in people's lives.
­ Migration has also led to a wider acceptance of other faiths.
Fragmentation of Belief
­ There is no longer one set of beliefs that other people share.
­ As a result, people can draw from a wide variety of NRM's or
­ Although there is a wide variety of pathways, most adopt similar
notions on morality.…read more

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People want to celebrate their life events as a right of passage,
rather than along religious lines.
Note: Despite this, lift any celebrity magazine and there's photos of
celebrity weddings that do follow religious themes...
Disneyfication of Beliefs
­ Lyon (2000) argues that belief has become very
commercialised and people want to be able to package faith in
easy and simple ways.…read more


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