Religiosity and Social Groups

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Reasons for Gender Differences

Socialisation and Gender Role

  • women are socialised to be passive, obdient and caring and these are qualities valued by most religions
  • men with these qualities are also likely to be more religious
  • part time work schedule due to glass ceilings ect allows more time to be spent in religious practice
  • offers a source of gender identity

Women and New Age Movements

  • associated with nature and the healing roles
  • most cults celebrate the healing role of women
  • men wish to achieve, women wish to feel
  • NAMs place emphasis on otherly roles, which is attractive to women as there role in society is strictly ascribed
  • some women are attracted to fundamentalism as it offers them traditional roles
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Reasons for Gender Differences

Compensation for Deprivation

  • religion is a compensator for social, organismic and ethical deprivation
  • these are most common among women
  • organismic results from physical and mental problems, women seeking help through religion
  • ethical results from the morally conservative stance, they see the world in moral decline and are attracted to sects who share this view

Recent Trends

  • women are leaving the church at a faster rate
  • Brown (2001) since the 1960s women have begun to reject traditional gender roles and therefore religion enforces these views so it is less attractive to women
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Reasons for Ethnic Differences

Modood et al (1994) found some decline in the importance of religion for all ethnic groups and that fewer were observant of religion, particularly in second generations

Cultural Defence

  • Bruce (2002) argues that religion gives support and sense of identity in hostile immigrant environements
  • Bird (1999) religion among minorities can be a basis for community solidarity, preserving language and culture and coping with opression in a racist society

Cultural Transition

  • can aid transition into a new culture
  • once the transition has been made, it is likely that religion will lose its importance once more
  • Pryce (1979) argues the pentecostal church is highly adaptive and allowed members to realise self reliance and thrift as well as mutual support
  • rastafarianism on the other hand radically rejects the wider society amd their racist beliefs
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Reasons for Age Differences

Voas and Crockett (2005)

The Ageing Effect

  • people turn to religion as they get older
  • they become interested in spirituality as a means to deal with the concept of death

The Generational Effect

  • society becomes more secular with each generation
  • those who were socialised with church still attend church
  • more significant than the ageing effect
  • every generation is half as religious as their parents
  • 30% of church goers are overt 65 and this trend is likely to continue
  • the exception of this is the pentecostal church which still attracts younger members
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