• Created by: Banisha.
  • Created on: 24-05-18 12:41


  • theories of late modernity - religions are changing as societies are developing 
  • religious market theory - secularisation forms part of a wider process of revival and renewal 
  • pre modern society - based on religion - one monopoly of truth 
  • modern society - industrialisation, enlightenment, reformation, sociology/ pyschology developed
  • late- modernists - believe elements of modernity, less extreme than post modernists 

LATE MODERN THEORY - some aspects of traditional religion are in a direct decline but new forms are emerging as a result of societal changes individualism,choice, consumerism

DAVIE - religion is no longer about obligation or a belief that is important upon the masses rather it is a matter of choice - attatched to a religion is based upon personal needs and priorities - for DAVIE religion has become privitised in that many people believe without beloning - more privitised - notes there is a trend towards 'vicarious religion' - religion is practised at second hand ie spiritual health services such as NHS/ church to support people in times of need also dianas death people came together to mourn over 1997 

many people lie about going to church because it is seen as desirable 

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  • VOAS AND CROCKETT - claim that if believing without belonging was correct you would see a much higher rate of belief 
  • in their research the respondents of both church attendence and belief in god has declined
  • though 97% of people claim to be christian they found out that many christians interviewed did not state god/ christian during research - non religious marker of their ethnic/ national identity
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  • religion has been renewed due to changes in modern society - it has not become lost 
  • rather religion has become collective - it has beome individualised - it is what we make it 
  • leger - this renewal is key feature of late modern society - tradition has broken down whilst individualism has rapidly taken over 
  • LEGER SPIRITUAL SHOPPING - due to the loss of traditional religious socialisation found within the extended family, leger argues that 'cultural amnesia' has occurred - the loss of collective memory - children are now given the choice to be religious rather than it being imposed - means they are more ignorant of religion - the collective tradition of religion has been lost due to changes in socialisation which has led to greater indiviualism - this individualism means that we a have choice and can create our own 'do it yourself' beliefs which can slot into our own beliefs and aspirations - religion is now a personal spiritual journey which suits our own identity 
  • the shift from collective tradition to individualism has led to 2 new types of religious types   1.pilgrims - involving personal development through involving yourself with new age movements 2.coverts - organisations that offer a strong sense of belonging/ commitment which has been lost due to cultural amnesia - NRMS cultural transition
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  • argues that religion is continually adapting and is always renewing itself - supports davie 
  • this change is due to the type of society which we are curently living in - post modern 
  • globalisation - the greater interconnectedness of the world allows for the spread of ideas and beliefs
  • media and communications, ideas and beliefs are spread around the world through mass media, these images, symbols and beliefs have saturated our lives and have helped religion to renew 
  • consumerism - members of the world are able to consume these religious ideas and construct their own personal identities 
  • within a postmodern society traditional religious views have become 'disemedded' - transported around the world through the media 
  • religion has become deinstituitionalised - floating in cyber space 
  • there is growth of religion online and online religion 
  • LYON - pick and mix religious consumers - this demonstrates that religion is being revived - sphere of consumption we have become 'religious consumers'
  • we have a loss of faith from metta narratives - the decline in church does not mean the end of religion - many new religious movements are coming about - religion and spirituality are not disappering but evoking taking new forms that fit in postmodern society 
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  • these movements are in line with lyons understanding of religion and legers view of pilgrims and coverts 
  • NAM'S aim to provide greater spiritual support and understanding that life is a continous spiritual journey of self discovery 
  • HEELAS notes that there are 2000 such activities in britian today with 146000 practioners ie interested in yoga, magic, holistic therapies = greater movement of individualism 
  • KENDAL PROJECT - found 1.6% took part in holistic activities - there was a noticeable decline in the domain but support for evangelical churches were holding up
  • HEELAS AND WOOHEAD - there has been a shift from obligations to personal choic this has made people reject the domain as it went against individualism + evangelical churches held greater support and attendence as they emphasised the importance of spiritual healing 
  • religion is not declining but changing its natural forms = sacralisation 
  • women who are unmarried or divorced/ childless perform these more = have more time 
  • everyone has become individualistic challenges plausibility structure to no monopoly of truth - seen as self religion / self spirituality 
  • LYON critises secularisation - we are now in a period of re-enchantment with the growth of unconventional beliefs, practises and spirituality = SPIRITUAL REVOLUTION 
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  • religion is not declining but changing in form
  • NEW AGE - STRUCTUAL WEAKNESS - itself a cause of secularisation because its subjective, individualistic nature - based on the ideas that there is no higher authority than the self 
  • NEW AGE lacks external power - no commitment,
  • cannot achieve consensus so lacks cohesion as a movement,
  • cannot persuade others about the truth because it believes that the enlightenment comes from within not from someone else 
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  • secularisation theory is euthocentric as it doesn't take into account the validity of religion in america 
  • STARK AND BAINBRIDGE - critical of secularisation theory 
  • 1. the golden age of religion did not exist 
  • 2. you cannot predict that religion will end/ we all become atheist 
  • in response to secularisation theory they propose that 1. people are naturally religious and therefore demand is constant 2. it is human nature to seek rewards and avoid costs - rational choice theory 
  • religion is attractive because it provides individuals with compensators - when real rewards are unachievable with society/ difficult to obtain - wealth income, materials, happiness and employment, religious compensators with supernatural rewards 
  • argue religion is always working within a cycle of decline a gap in the market is created which allows for sects and cults to develop = pilgrims/ converts 
  • churches are in competition = allows for revival - need to make products and beliefs suitable for their market in order to attract follwers
  • these that allow for flexibility win whereas those that have rigid views lose out 
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  • religion declines when there is only one dominant church in place 
  • in america under the constitution, freedom of religion exists - this means religion is secular to the state which has allowed for multiple beliefs to thrive 
  • within europen one religion has previously dominated and because of this a healthy market doesn't exist 
  • STARK + BAINBRIDGE - levels of religiousity isnt based upon demand - as secularisation theory states but rather supply - god TV is an example of televangelism 
  • HADDEN + SHUPE - increase of televangelism in american has led to the increase of multiple denominations to thrive 
  • immigration into american increased asian religions such as krishna/ transcendental meditation
  • according to STARK the RM also developed in Japan after WW2 - new forms of religion developed as de-regulation occurred - state ceased control ie new forms of buddhism have thrived - religion hasnt declined but reviving 
  • EVALUATIONS Beckford - assumes that people are naturally religious - isnt sociological NORRIS+ INGELHEART = argue that religious participation is high within atholic countries where the church maintains monopoly - countries with religious pluralism have lower rates of particpation - this supports berger/ plausability structure 
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  • poorer societies have high levels of insecurity which leads to high levels of religiousity
  • rich sociteties have a high standard of living, less at risk, greater sense of security = less religious 
  • britains society provides health care services which makes society feel secure - we dont need to turn to religion - protects people and reduces poverty
  • america has less health services - need to pay - increases people in poverty which creates a greater need for religion 'dog eat dog' values 
  • LUNDEGARDE - argues that countries spend large amounts of welfare remain fairly secular - they are more secure 
  • structural differenciation - parsons - the state provides services which has decreased in levels of religiousity - notes that religion will never cease because it helps comfort individuals with questions surrounding the meaning of life 
  • EVALUATIONS -quantative data is collected based on incomes - ignores qualitative data including definitions of security., religion is only in one place as it compensates negative elements of life - demand for religion is never constant but raises within/ between countries 
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