Existential Security Theory Notes

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  • Created by: Elannm
  • Created on: 24-05-16 21:07

Norris & Inglehart – Existential Security Theory



·       Reject religious market theory as it only applies to America and doesn’t explain the variations in religiosity between different societies.

·       Variations in religiosity between societies are due to different degrees of existential security – the feeling that survival is secure enough that it can be taken for granted.

·       Religion meets a need of security – so societies where people feel secure have a low level of demand for religion:

Ø  Poor societies – people face life-threatening risks, so they have high levels of insecurity, thus high levels of religiosity. Poor people in rich societies also face insecurity and are therefore more religious.

Ø  Rich societies – people have a high standard of living and are less t risk, so they have a greater sense of security and thus lower levels of religiosity.

·       Explains why poor Third World countries remain religious, while


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