Reasons why statistics are not a useful measure of secularisation(question-9marks)

Beliefs in society 9 mark question answer: Identify and explain 3 reasons why statistics are not a useful measure of secularisation
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Identify and explain 3 reasons why statistics are not a useful measure
of secularisation (9marks)
One reason would be that social desirability would come into effect. Within the 1800s
there was said to be a golden age of faith whereby every individual was religious. If you
were not to attend church then a negative stigma would become attached to you.
Therefore people only attended church because it was expected of them and wouldn't
necessarily mean they were religious. This also applies to modern day society as people
may still be conscious of this stigma and so claim they attend church or are religious in
order to put themselves in a `good light'. This would therefore make research into
secularisation invalid/inaccurate.
Another reason into measuring secularisation would be the issue of ethnocentrism, which
refers to the way in which questions are asked, within surveys. For example a questionnaire
may measure secularisation and ask questions only according to Christianity, with wording
only representing a specific religion the answers do not take into account of religions or
beliefs. So the results may imply that people are becoming less religious, however this
may only reflect Christianity and other religions may in fact be thriving.
Lastly the interpretation of evidence would cause statistics to be an inappropriate measure
of secularisation. For example high participation doesn't necessarily mean strong belief
and low participation doesn't necessarily mean lack of belief, for example some people
may express their religious beliefs/ commitments in the comfort of their own home, or
elderly may not have the physical mobility to attend church every Sunday.

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