- There is evidence of disenchantment - results from a search for more genuine ways of satisfying spiritual needs
- Weber: Linked sects to social stratification: Most likely to emerge amongst the poor, such groups may develop a 'theodicy of disprivilege' (Religious reasons for why they are in that position)
- Since the 1960's, world rejecting NRM's have recruited mainly from affluent groups
^^ But Wallis says this doesn't contradict Weber's view as most were marginal to society (drug users, hippes, drop outs etc.)
Relative Deprivation: Glock and Stark
- NRM's and NAM's also attract the middle class
- = Relative deprivation (middle class feel deprived compared to others)
Types of Relative Deprivation:
- Social Deprivation: Lack of power and status. Find alternative satisfaction.
- Organismic Deprivation: Physical and mental problems. Look for healing.
- Ethical Deprivation: Result of people percieving the world in moral decline.
- Psychic Deprivation: Searching for more than the dominant value system offers. Wish for inner spiritual fulfillment.
- Religious sects are the product of social change
- Change may create anomie
Anomie - Durkheim - sense of insecurity - because rapid change disrupts traditional norms and values
- Wilson: Popularity of world accomodating groups in 18th-19th century due to worries by industralisation and urbanisation
- 20th century sects may be due to dominance of rationalism creating worry
- Bellah: Increase in sect and cult membership in late 60's in USA due to middle class youth experiencing a 'crisis of meaning' - Materialistic values of their parents culture
The Key To Success
- World affirming NRM's and NAM's appeal to the affluent middle class who feel there is something missing in their lives
- They seek to recapture their inner selves, and can pay to do so
- They appeal as they claim to offer ways to unlock spiritual powers within yourself, reducing stress from work and personal lives
Disenchantment With The World
- The world has become more rational and predictable
- Mystical elements have disappeared
- Churches and denominations have watered down their beliefs to fit in
- The lack of spiritual meaning leads people to find comfort and a sense of community in smaller, newer religious groups
Status frustration is people being unhappy about the position they find themselves in society. This applies particularly to young people going from childhood to adulthood.
- NRM's help young people gain an identity
World rejecting groups appeal to young people as they offer a supportive community of people in similar situations >> community and independance
Status frustration can be short lived
Wallis: NRM's involve a small proportion of the population for a short period of their lives