religion and social groups

  • Created by: cieran32
  • Created on: 23-10-18 21:21

religiosity and religious belief

Religious belief  is believing that the world is controlled by supernatural forces (God or a group of Gods)

Religiosity is the level of an individuals connections to all aspects of religion- how religious the person is

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Factors affecting religiosity


  • The 2011 consesnsus found that 22% of christians in England and wales were over 65. Islam however had more people under 50 than over so christianity has a much older age profile than islam
  • People who said they had no religion tended to be younger- more than a third were under 25
  • Middle-aged groups are more likely to get involved in world-affirming movements
  • Sects and cults are more likely to be populated with young adults
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Factors affecting religiosity

Sects- appeal to young and adults vy messages of friendship and compainionship- can be attractive to those who feel a sense of detachment from the world

Cults-  appeal to the inner thoguhts and feelings of young adults who are often alienated from the primary cultures of society. Cults  are attractive to people who are already engaging in counterculture activity.

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Factors affecting religiosity


  • Women are more liekly to attend church this has been explained by women's traditional role as a primary caregiver. Going to church and raisng children can be seen as a extension of this role. 
  • Different socialisation is also a factor. The argument says that girls are socialised to be passive and conform which fits the traditional behaviour of conservative religious groups. 
  • Women live longer and this means they will be o thier own and therefore turn to religion as a sense of comfort or community feeling. 
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Factors affecting religiosity

Feminists view of religion

Beauvoir (1949) claimed images of gender in western religion decieve women into thinking they're equal when they are not. Women are 'duped' into believing suffering on earth will be rewarded in heaven. 

Jean Holm (1994) outlined how many contemporay religions exploit and subordinate women and give men dominant roles.  Things like menstrutation are seen as 'polluting' to religion and therefore has a biological origin

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Factors affecting religiosity

Women have significant roles in NRMS

Women generally participate in Sects more than men- many Sects were established by women e.g. Christian Science movement 

Glock and Stark (1965)- argued gender differences in memebership is due to deprivation which is more experinced by women. 

Bruce- suggests that men are more interested in NRMs that advocate esoteric knowledge - elitist and specialist . women are more interested in New spirirtuality and New science. 

New age movements can appeal more to women as they empahsise healing and caring. 

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Factors affecting religiosity


  • Tariq Modood et al found that nearly all ethinc minorites are more religious. 
  • Religion maintains a sense of community and cultural identity within these ethinic groups
  • Johal (1998) claimes that multi-faith society like the UK's religious identity has become a key part to members of ethnic minorities
  • Davie(1994)- argues identification within a religious orginisation was important to South Asians such as Indians in the UK as it gave a feeling of belonging. 
  • Modood et al  found that Pakistani muslims in the UK identified themselves as primarily muslim
  • Many young muslims have deeper knowledge of islam than parents 
  • Afro Carribbeans- mainly christian, attempted to incorporate themselves into the established churches of the UK but found racism so developed own churches( Pentecostal) 
  • Modood et al  found that there was a decline in religious practice within the sikh religion as less young boys are likely to wear the turban than older sikh men. 
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Factors affecting religiosity


  • The middle class is Anglican and Quaker compared with the more Roman Catholic or Methodist working class. 
  • Religous participation is greater in the middle classes, as religous affiliation is seen as a desirable social characteristic - church is a oppurtunity for social networking =. 
  • Bruce(1995)  found that cults are primarily middle-class- as thye fulfill spirirutal needs for people who have little financial pressure. 
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