religion and social groups

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Gender and religion

Clear gender differences in religiousity. Women are more likely to hold beliefs about God, life after death etc and are more likely to attend a place of worship. However- majority of professional clergy are males. Gender differences are true regardless of age, religion or religious organisation.

these gender differences can be explained through socialisation and gender roles.
Miller+Hoffman argue women are more religious as they're socialised into values highly regarded by religion-passive, caring (males who have these characteristics are more religious than males who don't.)

Women- more likely to be in caring responsibilities- care for others may mean they're closer to births+deaths- contact with religious beliefs about afterlife, meaning of life etc.

Women more likely to me marginalised- less likely to work, or part time work. More time to be involved in religious activities- gives them a personal identity

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Women and sects

Bruce- women twice as likely as men to be in sects. More likely to experience marginalisation or relative deprivation.

Glock+Stark identify three forms of deprivation which mean more likely to be in a sect.

Social deprivation: women more likely to be poor. May explain why more women are in sects as they attract poorer groups.

Ethical deprivation: women tend to be morally conservative. Regard the world as being in moral decline and be attracted to sects as they share this view.

Organismic deprivation: stems from physical and mental health problems. Women more likely to suffer ill health and so seek healing through religion.

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Religion and age

Church attendance higher for under 15s- no choice and have to go with parents. 15-19 they can make their own choice.
The ageing effect- view that people turn to religion when they get older. Approach death- naturally become more concerned about spiritual matters+afterlife- go to church.
The generational effect- as society becomes more secular, each new generation is lessw religious than the one before. More older than younger people- not because they're more attracted as they're older, but because they grew up at a time when religion was more popular.
Voas+Crockett- generational effect is more significant. Each generation is half as religious as their parents- expect a continuing rise in the average age of churchgoers.

:( world-rejecting NRMs appeal more to younger people.
:( world affirming NRMs and NAMs appeal to middle aged.

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Religion and ethnicity

Ethnic minority groups have higher levels of participation in religion than the majority of the population.

Marginalisation- more likely to be marginalised due to racism in wider society. May lead to them joining sects.

Cultural defence- religion provides a focal point for their cultural identity in uncertain/hostile environments.

Cultural transition- providing support and a sense of community for minority groups in their new environment.

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