SCLY3 Beliefs In Society Key Terms Dictionary

  • Created by: Elannm
  • Created on: 24-05-16 21:14



Alienation = a lack of power, control, fulfillment and satisfaction experienced by workers in a capitalist society where the means of producing goods are owned by the bourgeoisie. Becoming separated from or losing control over something you have produced or created.

Anomie = a state of confusion and normlessness.

Ascetic = self-denying.

Asceticism = with which Weberrefers to self-discipline and self-denial which Calvinists practiced. For example monks would refrain from luxury, expensive clothes and avoid excess to devote themselves to God. 

Assimilate = blend in and integrate.



Believing without belonging = what BibbyandDavierefer to as agreeing to religious beliefs, origins and ways but not attending religious institutions. 

Bible belt = sections in the US where Protestant Fundamentalism is widely practiced. This occurs especially in the South and Midwest.

Bourgeoisie = the owners of the means of production within a society.

Broad approach = asks whether religion has lost significance on the level of the social system.

Bureaucratic =centralised form of organisation run by official representatives.



Calling = Weber’s idea that people are put on earth to glorify God’s name through wok. Thus Calvinists practice hard work and long hours of it. 

Calvinism = Weber’snotion of a form of Protestantism that occurred during its reformation in the 16th century to bring about a major social change. Instead of Capitalism being used for greed and wealth, Calvinism brought out an efficient, systematic and rational pursuit of profit for its own sake rather than for consumption. Weber refers this as the spirit of capitalism. He explains Calvinism wasn’t the main cause of modern capitalism but only one of its main causes.

Calvinists = 17th century Protestant sect based on the thinking of John Calvin.

Capitalists =the social class of owners of the means of production in industrial societies, whose primary purpose is to make profits.

Celibate = deliberately refraining from sexual activity.

Charismatic leader = leader with power and magnetic personality.

Civil religion = Bellah’s belief system that attaches sacred qualities to society itself – patriotism.

Clash of civilisations = Huntingtonsuggests that religion and different cultures is the major cause of conflict between different nations. 

Class conflict = the conflict that arises between different social classes. It is generally used to describe the conflict between the bourgeoisie and proletariat in Marxist views of society.

Closed belief systems = beliefs are not open to criticism. Unlike science, they make claims that cannot be successfully overturned. Fundamentalist beliefs often have get out phrases when they are threatened.

Cognitive functions =the shared ideology of operations and thought performed in society to keep it stable.

Collective conscious = the shared norms and values, beliefs and knowledge that makes social life and cooperation between individuals possible.

Communism = an equal society, without social classes or class conflict, in which the means of production are the common property of all.

Confucianism = Weberexplains this as a philosophical and ethical system that lacked the drive Calvinism had because it was not ascetic. 

Consensus = a general agreement within a group of people.

Conservative force = this acts as a way of preserving traditional behaviour and beliefs in society, keeping things the way that they are.


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