Applying material from the item and elsewhere, evaluate the view that society is becoming more secular.

  • Created by: _bella_
  • Created on: 18-03-19 09:34

Declining attendance & membership, cultural divers

Due to secularisation church attendance has decreased


There has been an increase of people not believing in religion

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Rationalisation (Weber)

Interpretivist view-

There has been a disemchantment of religion

We now turn to reason and logical explanations to understand the world (such as science)

Therefore religion isn't used in the same way as it had been previously.

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Structural Differentiation


In an industrial society institutions that would have been multi-functional loses some of their roles to more specialised institutions

Religion lost the role of educating and healthcare

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Technological change


Argued technology has largley replaced religious/ supernatural explanations of why thinsg occur

When bad things happen,we don't turn to religious explanations, we use scientific/ technological reasons for it.

Why have societies in the past/ now got a God fearing attitude?

Marxists- keep workers passive

Feminists- patriarchy and keep women subordinate

Functionalism- it isn't to keep people passive but socialises people and keep value consensus

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Cultural diversity and religious diversity


Pre-industrial societies values were shared and so religious rituals regulated behaviour of individuals


Industrialisation undermined the shared religious beliefs that held small communities together.

Urbanisation meant larger communities which meant diverse range of cultures and beliefs


There are now many differents faiths and religious communities

The RCC used to have monopoly over religious truth

After the Reformation society was no longer unified by one church

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Key points against secularisation- Cultural defenc


Argues there are 2 arguments that go against secularisation theory-

Cultural defense: where religion provides a protective mechanism against hostility for an ethnicity or group

Cultural Transition: where religion offers support and a sense of community for groups

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Religious Fundamentalism

Religious fundamentalism is growing 

Mainly Christian denominations (Evangelists like Methodists or Jehovahs Witnesses)

Main cause is globalisation threatens beliefs and lifestyle, so when peole threatened they develop rigid rules about what people believe and how to behave

If secularisation occured we wouldn't have fundamentalism

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Believing without belonging

Davie (2007)-

Doesn't believe that religion is losing its influence people are just practicing in private

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Secularisation in the USA


argues that churchgoing is part of the 'American part of life' rather than deeply held beliefs.

- Church attendance: stats aren't acurate, still a norm to go to church, but if asked in a survey people say they do attend

- Secularisation from within: religion has become more like 'therapy'

- Religious diversity: denominations don't claim the truth.

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