Beliefs in society

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  • Created on: 27-05-19 09:54
What are the three definitions of religion?
Substantive- WEBER, focuses on the substance of a religion, excludes non-western practices. Functional- DURKHEIM, focuses on what religion does for the community. Constructionist- ALDRIDGE, individuals define, e.g. scientology.
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What is (Functionalist) Durkheim's theory of religion?
Religion is a distinction between the sacred and the profane. Religious individuals are worshipping society, e.g. totemism. WORSLEY found that many tribes shared totems so they can't be that sacred.
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What is the (Functionalist) psychological theory of religion?
MALINOWSKI- religion promotes social cohesion and value consensus. E.g. lagoon and ocean fishing (outcome is important and uncontrollable) and HMD (times of life crisis).
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What is (Functionalist) Parsons' theory of religion?
Religion promotes values and meaning, helping people to cope with the unforeseeable future and answering ultimate questions.
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What is (Functionalist) Bellah's theory of religion?
Religion unifies society. Civil Religion attaches a sacred meaning to society.
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What is the (Marxist) ideological theory of religion?
MARX- religion is used as an ideological weapon to legitimate the position of the proletariat. LENIN- religion acts as a spiritual gin.
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What is the (Marxist) alienation theory of religion?
Religion acts as the opium of the people, dulling the pain of alienating work.
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What are the Feminist theories of religion?
There is evidence of patriarchy in: religious organisations, places of worship, sacred texts and religious laws and customs. ARMSTRONG- the development of monotheistic religions has caused the patriarchy, early religions placed women at the centre.
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What are the religious forms of Feminism?
WOODHEAD- the hijab is a symbol of liberation for those who wear it. Women can use religion to gain status in the private sphere. Protestantism allows women to be at the top of the hierarchy.
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How does religion act as a conservative force?
Defends traditional customs, holds a belief in customs that preserve the status quo of society. Functionalists say this promotes social solidarity, Marxists say it legitimates oppression, Feminists say it legitimates patriarchy.
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How is religion a force for change?
WEBER- uses the example of Calvinism (possessed the spirit of Capitalism), but economic and material factors were also needed. Explains lack of Capitalist change with Hinduism (other worldly) and Confucianism (not ascetic).
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What is some evaluation of Weber?
KAUTSKY- he overestimates the role of ideas. Scotland was Calvinist but didn't develop Capitalism.
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How is religion used in social protest?
Civil Rights Movement- (BRUCE) black clergy took the moral high ground, channelled dissent, acted as honest brokers and mobilised public opinion. New Christian Right used televangelism, unsuccessful as aims didn't match society's.
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What is the Marxist view of religion and social change?
Religion inhibits and encourages change based on its ideology. BLOCH- religion has a dual character.
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What is the Marxist view of Liberation Theology?
Created legitimate change in how the poor were treated (despite being condemned by the Pope). Thus, religion doesn't always legitimate oppression.
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What is the Marxist view of Millenarian movements?
A belief in judgement day at the end of the world. Appeal to the poor as in death they would receive immediate gratification. Cargo cults were the first to use this view of religion to communicate their ideas.
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What is Gramsci (Marxist) view of hegemony?
The clergy can act as organic intellectuals who teach people of their situation. Hegemony is never guaranteed due to the lower classes' ability to create their own counter hegemony.
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How did secularisation occur in Britain?
Decline in church attendance, increase in the age of churchgoers, greater diversity etc. WILSON- by 2015 only 5% of adults will go to church. State took over from the Church.
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What are the explanations of secularisation?
RATIONALISATION (Weber, no longer an enchanted garden). STRUCTURAL DIFFERENTIATION (Parsons, disengagement and privatisation). SOCIAL/CULTURAL DIVERSITY (Wilson, individualism). RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY (Berger, sacred canopy).
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What leads to higher than average levels of religious participation in a secular society?
CULTURAL DEFENCE and TRANSITION (Bruce, religion provides a focal point for the defence against hostile foreign power, religion provides identity as migrants.) Religion only survives as its the focal point of these groups.
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How has secularisation occurred in America?
WILSON- religion became superficial.
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What are Bruce's three explanations for secularisation in America?
DECLINING CHURCH ATTENDANCE- 40% decline masked the actual decline. Attendance is socially desirable so people lie. SECULARISATION FROM WITHIN- emphasis on beliefs has declined, religion is therapy. RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY- erosion of absolutism.
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What are some criticisms of the secularisation theory?
Religion isn't declining, but changing. Religion declined in Europe, not globally. Religious diversity increases choice and doesn't decline belief overall.
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What does Davie argue about religion, renewal and choice?
There was an obligation to go to church, but there is now choice and consumerism. religion takes a privatised form. There is Vicarious religion and churches are seen as a Spiritual Health Service. VOAS and CROCKETT criticise.
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What is spiritual shopping in reference to religion, renewal and choice?
Hervieu-Leger blames decline of religious obligation on cultural amnesia. We now have DIY beliefs. There are two new religious types: Pilgrims (self discovery) and Converts (seek community).
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What is Lyon's view of religion renewal and choice? (Postmodern religion)
Believing without belonging is becoming more popular. Religion has become disembedded from church and spread across the media due to globalisation, e.g. televangelism.
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What is Hellend's view of Postmodern religion?
There are two types of religious internet activity: religion online (electronic version of a religious organisation) and online religion (virtual worship).
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Has there been a spiritual revolution?
Congregational domain is giving way to holistic spirituality. HEELAS and WOODHEAD- 2000 saw 7.9% attend church and 1.6% participate in holistic milieu. There's been a shift away from obligation. Evangelical churches on the rise due to spirituality.
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What are weaknesses of the New Age?
Socialisation of the next generation (women of the holistic milieu remain childless). New Age needs weak commitment.
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What is the religious market theory?
STARK and BAINBRIDGE- there has never been a golden age. People are naturally religious, religion meets human needs, it is human to seek rewards and avoid costs. Religion is attractive as it provides compensation and creates a cycle of renewal.
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What is the difference between America and Europe according to Stark and Bainbridge?
Religion thrives in the US as there is no monopoly of truth, providing citizens with a healthy religious market. In Europe, most countries have been dominated by an official state church with a monopoly of truth, lack of choice has led to the decline
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What is supply led religion?
Demand for religion is influences by the quality and variety of the religions on offer. The growth of televangelism in the US- participation is supply led, commercial funding opened up competition, responded to demand by preaching prosperity.
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What is Norris and Inglehart's view of secularisation and security?
Reject religious market theory. Variations in religiosity comes from society's degree of existential security. Europe has the highest rate of secularisation as their society is the most equal Vs US. More gov spending on welfare, less religiosity.
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What are the main features of religious fundamentalism?
An authoritative sacred text, us and them mentality, aggressive reactions, use of modern tech, patriarchy, prophecy and conspiracy theories.
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What are the theories of fundamentalism and modernity?
DAVIE- fundamentalism occurs when traditional beliefs are threatened by modernity. GIDDENS- fundamentalism is a product of globalisation as it acts as a faith-based retreat from uncertainty.
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What is cosmopolitanism?
Embraces modernity and globalisation. Tolerant of new ideas and belief systems are seen to be a personal choice. BAUMAN- Many are attracted to post modernity but some retreat to fundamentalism.
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What are the two responses to post modernity according to Castell's theory of Cosmopolitanism?
Resistance identity (retreat to fundamentalism) and project identity (engage in social movements like Feminism).
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What is monotheistic fundamentalism?
BRUCE- main cause of fundamentalism is that traditionalists feel threatened. This is confined to monotheistic religions. Fundamentalism in the West is a result of societal change, Third World is the result of changes thrust upon them (e.g. West).
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What is secular fundamentalism Vs religious fundamentalism?
DAVIE- changes to modern society: religious fundamentalism (reaction to Enlightenment secularisation), secular fundamentalism (loss in faith of secular ideology e.g. liberalism, then attracted to fundamentalism).
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What is religion's role in the clash of civilisations?
HUNTINGTON- global conflicts aren't due to fundamentalism, but the nations themselves. 7 civilisations are identified with a great religion (always be fundamentalism). Globalisation has made nations a smaller part of identity, religion fills the gap.
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What is cultural defence?
BRUCE- cultural defence is a function of religion (unites a community against external threats).
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What are the two examples of cultural defence?
POLAND: Catholic church was a rallying point for opposition to the Soviets. IRAN: revolution against the West influenced by Islam brought the Islamic Republic which imposed the Sharia Law.
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What is the relationship between God and globalisation in India? (Religion and development)
NANDA- globalisation caused economic growth, legitimating Hindu ultra-nationalism and Indian mc prosperity. Majority of educated class believes in the supernatural. Religiosity is a result of ambivalence about new wealth.
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What is the relationship between Capitalism and East Asia?
East Asian tiger economies have industrialised and become big players in the global economy.
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What is the significance Pentecostalism in Latin America?
BERGER- functional equivalent to Protestant ethic, encourages capitalism. LEHMANN- Pentecostalism incorporates local belief so validates these values.
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What are the types of religious organisation?
TROELTSCH- Churches (large, hierarchy, monopoly of truth), Sects (small, exclusive, monopoly of truth, appeal to poor). NIEBUHR- Denominations (accept society, not linked to the state, no monopoly), Cults (loose-knit, tolerant, no commitment).
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What are similarities and differences between religious organisations?
WALLIS- churches and sects both have a monopoly of truth, denominations and cults both accept other interpretations. Churches and denominations are seen as legitimate while sects and cults are seen as deviant.
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What are New Religious Movements according to Wallis?
World rejecting NRMs, e.g. the People's Temple, are highly critical of society. World accommodating NRMs, e.g. neo-Pentecostalists, neither reject or accept society. World affirming NRMs lack traditional features of religion, most are cults.
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How are sects and cults in conflict with society?
STARK and BAINBRIDGE- sects result form schisms and cults are new religions, e.g. Scientology. Sects are seen to have other-worldly benefits and cults to have this-worldly benefits.
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How are cults subdivided by Stark and Bainbridge?
According to how organised they are. AUDIENCE: least organised with little interaction between members. CLIENT: relationship between consultant and client. CULTIC MOVEMENT: most organised, rarely allow members to be part of other religious movements
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Why have NRMs grown?
WEBER- marginality. STARK and BAINBRIDGE- relative deprivation (world rejecting sects offer compensation). WILSON and BRUCE- social change (offer a source of identity).
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What are the dynamics of sects and NRMs? (Sectarian cycle)
NIEBUHR, STARK and BAINBRIDGE- schisms cause world-rejecting sects (step 1), initial fervour of charismatic leader (step 2), denominationalism (step 3), establishment (step 4), further schism (step 5).
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How does Wilson criticise the sectarian cycle?
Not all sects follow the sectarian cycle and denomination or death. E.g. Adventist sects prevent themselves from becoming a denomination. Many sects have survived and turned into established sects due to the success of socialising the next generation
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What has led to the increase of Postmodernity and a New age?
DRANE- loss f faith causes people to turn to the New Age for the truth. BRUCE- individualism of modern society aligns with the New Age as they are softer versions of tradition.
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How does HEELAS link the New Age and modernity?
Source of identity (different roles in modernity create fragmented identities), consumer culture (alternative view of perfection), rapid social change (gives a norm in times of uncertainty), decline of organised religion (secularisation).
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What are the gender differences in religiosity?
Most churchgoers are females, outnumbering men by almost half a million. More women than men (55% Vs 44%) say they're religious. More women than men (38% Vs 26% say religion is important to them.
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What are the reasons for gender differences in religiosity?
MILLER and HOFFMAN- risk taking, socialisation, gender roles. BRUCE- lower involvement in paid work (more time)
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Why are women more attracted to the New Age?
More individualistic. Emphasises the need to be authentic rather than act (gender roles), women can bypass the conflict they have with their inner selves. BRUCE- sects compensate relative deprivation: ORGANISMIC, ETHICAL, SOCIAL.
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What are the ethnic differences in religiosity?
Black people are twice as likely to attend church and are more likely to be involved in Pentecostalism than white people.
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What are the main reasons for ethnic differences in religiosity?
BRUCE- cultural identity in hostile environments. Can ease the transition into a new culture (HERBERG- high participation for first gen immigrants). PRYCE- defence and transition is an important role of Pentecostalism for African Caribbean people.
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What are age difference sin religiosity?
The older a person is the more likely they are to attend religious services. Under 15s, however, will attend due to parents.
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What are the reasons for age differences in religiosity?
VOAS and CROCKETT- ageing effect (spiritual matters of death), period or cohort effect (people born in a particularly period may be more religious due to experience, e.g. war) and secularisation (each generation is less religious).
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How may science be an open belief system?
POPPER- science is an open system as it is open to criticism. Governed by the principle of falsificationsim.
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What are the CUDOS norms?
Communism (knowledge is shared), universalism (truth is just on universal norms), disinterestedness (publish findings which others check), organised scepticism (ideas are open to criticism).
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What is a closed belief system?
Religion is a closed system as it cannot be challenged .
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Why may science be a closed belief system?
POLANYI- all beliefs systems reject challenges to their claims. KUHN- mature science is based on paradigms (cannot be challenged). However, there are scientific revolution.
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Why is witchcraft among the Azande significant?
When misfortune descends, it is due to witchcraft. The accused apologises. EVANS-PRITCHARD says this belief system performs social functions of preventing grudges. Closed belief system.
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What are Polanyi's three devices to sustain belief systems?
Circularity (each idea is explained in terms of another idea), Subsidiary explanations, Denial of legitimacy (rejection of alternative views).
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How is scientific knowledge part of sociology?
Interpretivists- all knowledge is socially constructed. Marxists and Feminists see scientific knowledge as far from the truth as it only serves the interest of dominant groups. Advance of science is driven by patriarchy and capitalism.
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Card 2


What is (Functionalist) Durkheim's theory of religion?


Religion is a distinction between the sacred and the profane. Religious individuals are worshipping society, e.g. totemism. WORSLEY found that many tribes shared totems so they can't be that sacred.

Card 3


What is the (Functionalist) psychological theory of religion?


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What is (Functionalist) Parsons' theory of religion?


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What is (Functionalist) Bellah's theory of religion?


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