- Created by: T Colby
- Created on: 04-10-16 15:50
What does religion do for society?
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What sociological theories believe that religion is a conservative force?
Functionalism, Marxism and Radical Feminism.
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What sociological theories believe that religion can be a conservative force and an initiator of change?
Liberal Feminism, Radical Feminism and Neo-Marxism.
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What sociological theory thinks that religion is an intiator of change?
Social Action Theorism.
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What sociological theory thinks that relgion still has a function to play, but people no longer accept that it does?
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What sociological theories think that religion may have a role to play but not a niform one in postmodern society?
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What 4 functionalist theorists think that religion is a conservative force?
Emile Durkheim, Bronislaw Malinowski, Talctott Parsons and Robert Bellah.
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What did Durkheim think that the major function of religion was?
Its role in the creation of the collective conscience.
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What were Durkheim's findings based on?
Baed on an evaluation of Australian aboriginal societies.
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What did Durkheim argue that all societies do?
All societies separate the world into two categories: the sacred (special, venerated objects) and the profane (mundane, ordinary objects).
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What did Durkheim think were created from societies separating the world into two categories?`
Sacred totems were created (e.g. the Crucifix for Roman Catholics) and members of society could collectively worship them.
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What did religious activity function to do seeing as sacred objects were specific to that society?
Religious activity also functioned to create social solidarity (shared norms and values), and ultimately a collective conscience was established.
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What did Durkheim argue would happen as society moved into modernity?
Advanced, industrialised societies would gradually reject 'religion' and turn to more scientific based explanations of the unexplainable.
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How was the collective conscience maintained in modern industrialised societies that had turned away from 'religion'?
Society would still need a collective conscience and therefore collective worship would persist but of non-religious things (stars and stripes and dollar bill to US citizens).
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Who endored Durkheim's ideas?
Functionalist Robert Bellah.
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What does the very existence of a collective conscience mean that society is?
Stable and we can see how religion functions to maintain the status quo i.e. it is a conservative as opposed to a revolutionary force.
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What was Bronislaw Malinowski's theory based on?
Based on anthropological research into the Trobriand Islanders.
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How did Malinowski disagree with Durkheim?
Argued that religion had a very special function in terms of maintaining social solidarity levels of the clan in times of emotional stress.
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What were made to cater for potential life crises with the Trobriand Islanders?
Special religious ceremonies.
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What are some examples of potential life crises?
Birth, puberty, marriage and death.
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Why were special religious ceremonies held for potential life crises?
To ensure that individual members of the group were not isolated.
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When was an example of an anxious potential life crises for the Trobriand Islanders?
When the fisherman had to enter the more dangerous barriers beyond the barrier reef.
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The fact that religion helps individuals deal with life crises means what?
Sources of instability are nipped in the bud and that life in Trobriand society continues as normal.
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What did Talcott Parsons argue?
Argued that religion performs two main functions for society.
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What are the two main functions that Parsons argues does for society?
Firstly to provide a set of morals upon which to construct norms and behaviour patterns around a value consensus. Secondly, it allows individuals to make sense of the uncertainties of the modern world, particularly unusual and unforeseen events.
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What is an example of Parson's first function of religion?
There is a clear correlation between the Ten Commandments and what British and US people deem to be right and wrong. An evaluation of Islamic theocracatic societies such as modern Iran also would reveal a similar relationship.
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What is an example of Parson's second function of religion?
The death of a child is an unforeseen event.
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Whose ideas did Robert Bellah develop?
Developed Durkheim's ideas about the relationship between religion and the state and applied them to American society of the late 1960s.
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What did Bellah discover in his research?
When Americans said things like "God Bless America" that they were not referring to the supernatural God that is worshipped by Catholics or Jews but rather a more secular notion of God that relates to modern American values like freedom and liberty.
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What does the American saying of "God Bless America" allow?
Allowed the various ethnic groups in the US (e.g. African or Polish Americans) to still celebrate their own religious beliefs whilst maintaining s shared national identity.
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What did Bellah call a society such as the USA?
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What did Karl Marx reject as a Marxist?
Rejected functionalist ideas that religion served to meet the needs of all members of society through the creation of the collective conscience.
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What did Marx believe created and maintained fale class-conscience among the proletariat and therefore it would actually benefit the ruling class?
Religion as a state institution.
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What did Marx claim was the opiate of the people?
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Why did Marx believe that Christianity was the opiate of the people?
The masses were taught to believe that their suffering in this world would be rewarded by a wonderful afterlife.
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Give an example of how Christianity is the opiate of the people and how the masses were taught that thier suffering in this world would be rewarded by a wonderful afterlife?
The Bible states that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to get into Heaven.
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What did it mean when the masses were taught about their reasons for suffering?
The workers accepted the ineualities associated with the capitalist system on this basis and, hence religion was a vehicle of social control.
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Whose analysis was similar to that of Simone De Beauvoir?
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What was the main difference between Simone De Beauvoir and Karl Marx?
Marx focuses on the bourgeosie and proletariat and she looks at men and women.
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What does Simone De Beauvoir maintain?
Gender rather than one's economic situation determines position in society.
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What does Simone De Beavoir think that the true function of religion is?
To perpetuate male dominance of society through the promotion of patriarchal values.
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Similar to the workers plight being rewarded in Heaven as viewed by Marx, what happens to women accordig to Beavoir?
Women will be rewarded for their religious devotion when they make thier ascent into Heaven.
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Who was Merlin Stone very similar to and why?
Simone De Beavoir in her analysis of orthodox Judaism in that Stone too argued that men have seized control of various sacred texts (Torah) in order to maintain patriarchal control over women.
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How far does Stone go in her views of religion in maintaining patriarchal control over women?
The originial writers of the Jewish holy book (Torah) deliberately interpreted the word of God such that it sensured the marginalisation of women within the faith.
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What discrimination do women face in Judaism?
Women have no formal initiation ceremony, are not allowed to become rabbis ot to take an active role in any of the synagogue based activities where they are made to sit on the balcony.
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What four sociologists think that religion can be a conservative force and an initiator of change?
Nawal El Saadawi (Radical Feminist), J. Plaskow (Radical Feminist), Antonio Gramsci (Neo-Marxist) and Otto Maduro (Neo-Marxist).
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What did Nawal El Saadawi emphasise?
Emphasised the role of religion in the perpetuation of the patriarchal oppression of women.
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What did Saadawi's research focus on?
The experiences of Muslim women as opposed to the white western female.
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How did Saadawi illustrate her focus on Muslim women?
By evaluating how men try to justify the barbaric act of female circumcision and this has distorted Islam.
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What does the Qur'an state about stoning as a legitimate punishment?
Stoning is a legitimate punishment for adultery for both men and women.
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Why do men in Islam have less need to be adulterous?
Because they're allowed to have multiple wives.
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How does the tale of Adam and Eve been distorted to promote male patriarchy?
The innocent man was led astray by his evil wife.
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What does Saadawi content that we have to remove in religion?
We have to remove the patriarchal context around which our view of religion is constructed that religion need not be a source of female oppression i.e. religion has the potential to be an initiator of change.
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J. Plaskow states what about many theological and ideological reasons for the formation of what?
Of the New Liberal and the Reform versions of Judaism which broke away from Orthodox tradition.
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What was one of the many drivers for change in Judaism?
The way in which women were treated.
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Women were given their own what in Judaism?
Their own initiation conformation ritual the bat mitzvah and could take an active part in many of the rituals.
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How did Plaskow re-interpret the Adam and Eve story?
That of the character Lilith (who according to Jewsih folklore was Adam's first wife before Eve).
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Why did Plaskow re-interpret the Adam and Eve story?
To come up with a more sympathetic and less patriarchal interpretation which could no longer be used to justify the second class status of females in their religion.
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How did Plaskow think that religion could be a revolutionary force as opposed a conservative force?
If feminists could promote an alternative explanation of religion to that imposed by men as has been the case in Liberal and Reform Jewish traditions.
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What was Antonio Gramsci critical of?
Critical of Marx's belief that relgion merely functioned to serve the needs of the ruling class by providing a justification for the inherent inequalities of capitalism.
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What had the Catholic Church developed a set of?
Hegemonic values over many centuries that justified its own privileged position within Italian society and had its own agenda that was distinct from that of the ruling class.
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What did the Jewish hegemonic values have according to Gramsci?
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What did Gramsci argue there are controlling the proletariat?
Two competing and separate forces that controlled the Italian proletariat: the bourgeoisie and the Catholic Church.
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What did Gramsci feel about the Church?
He felt that the Church had traditionally acted in ways that indirectly helped the bourgeoisie but that this didn't have to be the case.
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What did Gramsci argue that the Church could use its power to do?
Use its power to mobilise the proletariat to challenge and overthrow the capitalist state.
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What is the consequence of religion using the previous card?
Religion could function to destroy the status quo.
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Whose ideas did Otto Maduro build his on?
Built on those of Gramsci in that he examined the role of certain Catholic priests in and leading in and leading and encouraging resistance to fascist led regimes in Latin American societies.
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What did Maduro term his work?
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How can Maduro's work be supported?
By an examination of Archbishop Romero who was a very outspoken critic of the plight of the poor of El Salvador.
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What allegedely caused Romero's death?
The CIA who were supporters of the military government of El Salvador murdered him.
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Why did the CIA supposedely murder Romero?
Because Americans didn't want a Latin American country to become communist.
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Who else can be used to demonstrate how a religious leader can be an instrument in revolutionary change?
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How will the revolution only happen according to Maduro?
If the religious leaders can persuade the majority to accept their hegemonic views over those of the ruling class.
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Who was the only theorist that thought that religion is an initiator of change?
Peter Berger (Phenomenologist).
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What did Berger demonstrate?
Demonstrated how religion could be an agent of social change in reference to the relationship between the Calvinist protestant tradition andf the birth of capitalism.
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What did Berger seek to demmonstrate?
Why, in spite of the technology being available in a number of countries (e.g. India), only certain nations went through the Industrial Revolution.
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What did Berger conclude?
He concluded that the Calvinist beliefs about predendestination (the belief that God had decided whether or not you will go to Heaven at birth) held the key.
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What did Calvinists have?
Salvation anxiety and had spent their lives wondering if they were one of the elect.
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What did the Calvinists then reason?
They then reasoned that if they led extemporary lives then they would go to Heaven because only the true children of God could live in such a way.
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What did the Calvinists adopt?
Adopted an ascetic lifestyle that was characterised by hard work and an effort to deny themselves any pleasure (e.g. abstinence from alcohol and sex was only for procreation).
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What did the Calvinist values mean that they possessed?
Possessed the spirit of capitalism.
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What happened to any profits in a Calvinist economic enterprise?
Any profits were re-invested back into the business and the owners didn't pay themselves excessive salaries.
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What were Calvinist workers prided on?
Prided themselves on their work ethic and their conscientiousness.
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How did the Calvinists manage thier businesses?
With military precision as they found ever more rational methods to crease profits e.g. the introduction of a specialised division of labour.
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What did Weber conclude?
There is a clear correlation between religion and social change and it is a revolutionary as opposed a conservative force.
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Who is the only theorist who thinks that religion still has a role to play, but people no longer accept that it does?
Peter Berger (Phenomenologist).
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What does Berger's analyis centre around?
Centres around the socially constructed nature of reality and how individuals make sense of the world around them.
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What did Berger think that the function of religion is?
To provide a set of symbols and rituals that individual members of society can interact with to give them a sense of meaning and therefore negotiate a way through their life.
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What is an example of religious symbolism?
White wedding represented everything that was once special about the marriage institution and for many women it defined their existence.
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What has happened in our increasingly multi-ethnic, multi-media globalised society?
The value of religious beliefs has been undermined and religion has lost credibility.
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What has postmodernists called this undermining of the value of religion and its credibiltiy in our increasingly multi-ethnic, multi-media globalised society?
The end of the metanarrative.
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Why did Berger bemoan this loss of religion in society?
It has created a power vacuum where by individual members of society no longer had their religion to help them cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life.
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What did Berger term his bemoaning of religion's loss in society?
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Where did Berger think that the ultimate extension of this homelessness was felt in society?
Is where members of society experience a sense of normlessness, mirroring Durkheim's beliefs about anomie.
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What sociologist thought that religion may have a role to play but not a uniform one in postmodern society?
Zygment Bauman (Postmodernist).
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What did Bauman argue?
That when we entered the age of modernity that religion was no longer used to justify our behaviour and instead morality was based on more concrete idea of law determined in relation to ideological metanarratives rather than a matter of individual...
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Finish the previous card.
consciousness and relationship with a divine being.
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What is an example of Bauman's argument relating to behaviour and morality?
In medieval times you didn't sin because God would punish you whereas in the Industrial Age people didn't commit crime because society deemed it to be illegal.
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What has happened now that wen are in the postmodern age?
Members of society have lost faith in metanarratives and are sceptical about rules imposed on them.
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What is an example of members of society losing faith in metanarratives in the postmodern age?
Many people think that politicians are dishonest and corrupt and therefore choose not to vote.
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In spite of all this, what still happens in the postmodern age?
People still want to have a sense of morality and therefore look for someone or something to provide them with an ethical framework to live by.
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What is there no one uniform source of in postmodern society?
No one uniform source of this moral code and personal choice comes into play.
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What were Bauman's conclusions about religion in postmodern society?
Religion could have a function to play in the postmodern world but it is a privatised personal one. Some may opt for fundamentalist solutions whereas others may find new age movements to be the way forward.
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Who are the three sociologists that think that religion may have a role to play but not a uniform one in postmodern society?
Peter Berger (Functionalist), Zygmunt Bauman (Postmodernist) and David Lyon (Postmodernist).
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What did David Lyon argue?
It was too strong to talk of the end of the religious metanarrative as a large number of people share sacred objects and rituals.
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What did Lyon think that we have to recognise?
That as society has become ever more consumer-led and globalised that individual members of a particular faith now feel that they have the freedom to pick and choose the aspects of it they choose to adhere to.
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What is an example of Lyon's claims about religion?
The Pope has decreed that it is wrong for Catholics to use contraception; however, many adherents feel free to take the pill.
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What did Lyon argue about change in religion?
It is not just worshipers who have changed; main religions now use different techniques to woo converts.
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What is an example of main religions using different techniques to woo converts?
An American Christian group hired out the Disneyworld theme park as a venue for a harvest festival event.
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What did Lyon think that religion had gone through?
A process of differentiation (where boundaries between areas of our lives become blurred e.g. work and leisure) and detraditionaliosation (movement away from established traditions e.g. going to church on Sunday).
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What did Lyon conclude about religion?
Religion may serve to allow people to make sense of the world but what religion is a matter of opinion and a variety of 'religions' are competing to fill this personal void.
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What was Ernst Troeltsch's historical analysis based on?
Historial analysis based on medieval religion.
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What did Troeltsch claim?
There were two types of religious organisation including church and sect.
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Why did Troeltsch think that it was easy to distinguish between a church and sect?
Because in many cases they were polar opposites.
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Give an example of how Troeltsch thought that a church and sect are polar opposites?
The Church was a national institution that you became a member of by birth and it was often closely linked to the state. (Church of England). Sects however had split away from mainstream church believing it wasn't radical enough or had lost its way.
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How did Troeltsch categorise sects?
Sects were small-scale, world rejecting organisations that demand deep commitment levels from their members.
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What is a classic example of a sect?
Jehovah's Witnesses are the classic example of the sect.
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What did Steve Bruce argue relating to Troeltsch?
Troeltsch's classification of a sect still has contemporary relevance.
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What is an example of Troeltsch's classification of a sect that Bruce would say still has contemporary relevance?
Jim Jones' People's Temple.
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What did Jim Jones' People's Temple involve?
The sect was formed in California and Jones persuaded his devotees to emigrate to Jonestown a commune he'd established in Guyana. Eventually, he persuaded the entire membership of the sect to take cyanide and they all died.
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What did Richard Niebuhr believe existed?
That a third category of religious organisation existed, namely a denomination.
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What did Niebuhr argue that a denomination was compared to a sect?
A denomination was a more institutionalised version of a sect.
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What had happened to a denomination as opposed to a sect?
Stopped bieng world rejecting and that had been re-integrated into the mainstream.
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What is a denomination in relation to Troeltsch's views?
In many ways is like a small-scale version of a church as described by Troeltsch.
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What are two classic examples used to illustrate denominations?
Baptist or Methodist churches.
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What did Roland Robertson argue is the key difference between a sect and cult members?
Thier attitude towards other religions.
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What do cult members think of the world?
Cult members see their world vision as one of many pathways to the truth and are, therefore, tolerant of those with different beliefs.
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What do sect members think of the world?
Sect members believe that they have a monopoly of the truth.
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What does Steve Bruce argue that cults are?
Loose knit organisations that tend to be founded around the ideas of a charismatic leader.
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What can members of a cult do?
Dip in and out of it and it is more like a hobby.
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What does Bruce call cult adherents?
Customers as opposed to members.
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Give an example of a celebrity that would fit in with this Bruce's description of adherents to cults as customers?
Madonna who subscribes to Kabbalah clearly fit in with this definition.
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What is a classic example of a modern cult?
L. Ron Hubbard's Scientology.
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What does NRMs stand for?
Non Religious Movements.
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What did Wallis argue we should do relating to religious organisations?
Rather than using the term sects and cults one should separate religious organisations into categories that are based upon their relationship to the outside world.
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What three categories did Walles come up with?
World-affirming NRMs, World-accommodating NRMs and World-rejecting NRMs.
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Give some details about a World-affirming NRM?
Membership of a Transcendental Mediation (TM) relgious group or becoming a Scientologist are designed to allow members to live life to the max. This is achieved by using techniques (at a high cost) that the cult has taught, e.g. chanting mantras.
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Give some details about a World-accomodating NRM?
Were usually an offshoot of an established church or denomination. For instance, Pentecostalism has clear links back to the Protestant faith. These groups don't try to change the world, rather they try to restore the spiritual purity of members.
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Give some details about a World-rejecting NRM?
The main difference is they don't have to have derived from an existing church. This allows us to re-categorise religious organisations originally mislabelled as cults. The Children of God, Heaven's Gate and People's Temple are jointlly categorised.
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What was the first part of Stark and Bainbridge's analysis?
Was to challenge the very idea that sociologists should try and classify religious organisations on the basis of shared characteristics.
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What is an example of sociologists trying to classify religious organisations on the basis of shared characteristics?
Whether they have a hierachy or a belief that they have a monopoly of religious truth.
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What do Stark and Bainbridge argue about different types of religious movement?
One should talk about different kinds of religious movement that can be distinguished from one another by the degree of tension that they have wth their social environment.
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Why do Stark and Bainbridge think that sects have formed?
Sects have formed as an offshoot of an existing religion where as cults are new religious innovations to that particular society.
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How many categories do Stark and Bainbridge argue that cults can be divided into?
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What are the three types of cults formed by Stark and Bainbridge?
Audience cults, Client cults and Cult movements.
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Define Audience cults?
A very, very loose knit community of people who may never meet face to face they just share a passion for something e.g. astrology or belief in the UFOs.
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Define Client cults?
These are similar to world-affirming movements in that their members expect to gain some form of personal enhancement as a consequence of their membership e.g. scientologists.
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Define Cult movements?
Some of these are similar to world-rejecting movements in that they demand complete commitment from their members e.g. Heaven's Gate or Moonies where as other groups just require one to reject all other religious beliefs.
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What does NAMs mean?
New Age Movements.
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What did S.J. Sutcliffe argue that it was a mistake to do?
It was a mistake to talk of a New Age Movement which implies some central organisation, a unified set of beliefs and a shared leadership.
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What did Sutcliffe claim of NAMs?
NAMs are a loose collection of individuals who may choose to network with others about a shared concern.
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What may a New Ager also do who is interested in holisitc healing?
May use one or a combination of many techniques to achieve this, e.g. astral projection of shiatsu.
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What is another feature of NAMs?
They are seeking genuine spirituality rather than the formalised dogmatic religion that is offered by mainstream religious organisations.
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What can the seeking of genuine spirituality manifest itself in?
Manifest itself in a variety of forms and if one feels spiritualised then one is spiritualised - this truth doesn't need to be validated by anyone else.
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What did Paul Heelas pick up on?
Picked up on the many of the themes that were addressed by Sutcliffe.
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What did Heelas claim about NAMs?
They contained the following key features: self-spirituality (individuals looked within themselves to find spiritual purity rather than turning to traditional religious orthodoxies.
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What happened due to detraditionalisation?
NAM members chose to follow their own path rather than trust conventional wisdom.
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What is an example of detraditionalisation and NAM members choosing to follow thier own path rather than trust conventional wisdom?
Rather than going to university to allow them to gain appropriate qualifications to enter a high paying career a New Ager may opt to drop out of school and go and live on a self-sufficient commune.
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What is another name for Jehovah's Witnesses?
The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.
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How many members of the Jehovah's Witnesses are there now globally?
Approximately 6 million.
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What does the Jehovah's Witnesses have?
A highly established bureaucracy and hierachical structure.
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For how long have the Jehovah's Witnesses been around for?
Over 100 years.
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What could be argued due to the Jehovah's Witnesses?
They display several of the charecteristics that Troeltsch associated with a 'Church' or that they are akin to a denomination in that they believe they have a total monopoly of truth.
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What is the Jehovah's Witnesses view that they have a total monopoly of truth demonstrated by?
By their belief that when Jesus returns that only the chosen few (144,000 Witnesses) will enter the Kingdom of Heaven the rest (non JW's) will be left to rot on earth come the apocalypse.
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What do Methodists respect?
Respect the right of rival denominations (e.g. Anglicans) to have their own version of the truth.
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What do Jehovah's Witnesses require unlike members of a church or denomination?
Require an exceptional level of commitment from their members.
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What do Jehovah's Witnesses famously not allow thier members to have?
To have blood transfusions (even to save a child's life) or celebrate birthdays or Christmas.
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What did Jehovah's Witnesses splinter away from?
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What do Jehovah's Witnesses clearly conform to?
To many of the identified features of sects (Troeltsch) or World Rejecting NRMs (Wallis) or cult movements (Stark and Bainbridge).
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How are Jehovah's Witnesses classified?
Dependent upon which characteristics the classifier deems to be the most significant.
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What are the Moonies also known as?
The Unification Church.
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What is similar about the Moonies and Jehovah's Witnesses?
How Moonies fit into the conventional classifications of NRMs and NAMs are ambiguous.
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What is the Unification Church?
A global institution.
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How many members does the Unification Church have?
Over 3 million members.
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Due to its size of membership, what must The Unification Church have?
Some sort of bureaucratic structure.
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What does The Unification Church profess to have?
A monopoly of truth.
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What could The Unification Church be labelled as?
A Church (Troltsch), or, if one ignores its views on being the only truth, a denomination using Niebuhr's model.
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The fact that the Moonies split away from mainstream society is a classic sign of what?
A classic sign of it being a sect according to Troeltsch.
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What is another key signifier that the Moonies are a sect?
They are very much reliant on having a charismatic leader.
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Who was the Moonies charismatic leader?
Reverend Moon, who died in 2012.
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What was the thing that made the Moonies so infamous?
Were the widespread allegations that members were brainwashed to make them have total commitment to the cause.
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Such was the hype about the Moonies as a religious organisation, that many outsiders thought was could happen?
That is their leader (Reverend Moon) said so, then all members would commit suicide. This would the make the Moonies a World Rejecting NRM (Wallis) or cult movement (Stark and Bainbridge). This isn't universally accepted.
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This would imply that full-blown members do so of their own free will believing what?
That being a Moonie will enhance thier life. In this regard we could classify them as a World-accomodating NRM (Wallis) or client cults (Stark and Bainbridge).
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Wahhabi Islam, in many ways, fits into what?
The definition of a Church as described by Troeltsch in that it is the national religion of Saudi Arabia and citizens of the territory are automatically born into membership.
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What determines crime and deviance in Wahhabi Islam?
Sharia Law (laws that derive from the Qur'an.
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What does Wahhabi Islam have the classic features of?
Classic features of Church (Troeltsch) in that they believe that they have a large number of members and a bureacratic organisational structure.
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What has Wahhabi Islam split away from?
Split away from established traditions (1792) it also possesses on of the central features of a sect as defined by Troeltsch.
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What could Wahhabi Islam display many of the characteristics of?
Many of the characteristics of Niebuhr's definition of a denomination.
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What makes Wahhabi Islam's classification more ambiguous?
When we look at their views of the monopoly of truth and the exceptional levels of religious adherence.
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What is directly linked to Islam?
The most extreme manifestations of Islamic fundamentalism al-Qaeda, the Taliban and the views of Osama Bin Laden.
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What can one make a strong case for relating to Wahhabi Islam?
Strong case for labelling it as a World-rejecting NRM (Wallis) or Robertson's definition of a sect or Stark and Bainbridge's cult movement especially in light of the countless suicide bombings that can be attributed to this particular from of Islam.
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What is The People's Temple commonly labelled as?
Labelled as a cult.
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What did The People's Temple most closely conform to?
The classic definitions of a sect (Troeltsch, Stark and Bainbridg's cult movement or Wallis' world rejecting NRM).
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What does The People's Temple also conform to?
Also conform to Robertson's distinction between a cult (being world affirming and accepting there are many truths) and a sect (being world rejecting and having a monopoly of truth).
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What did The People's Temple splinter away from?
Splintered away from mainstream Christianity.
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What was The People's Temple based on?
The charismatic leadership of Jim Jones.
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Where did Jones and approximately 1000 members emigrate to?
To a compound in Guyana - The People's Temple.
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What allegations followed the mass emigration to the Guyana compound?
Members being subject to disciplinary beatings and sexual abuse.
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When and why were these exceptional levels of commitment surpassed by the members of The People's Temple?
When 913 members allegedly committed suicide (others claim that 700 were murdered by fellow sect members) following the murder of a US Senator who had come to investigate the sect.
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What happened to The People's Temple after tha mass suicide?
With no leader and after such an awful massacre The People's Temple 'died' and, therefore, fits another characteristic of sects - being short lived.
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What is The Findhorn Foundation?
A small community of like-minded people who all subscribe to 'green living' with a few hundred permanent residents and several thousand visitors coming each year.
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What does The Findhorn Foundation have?
A very loose set of 'religious' values based around the need to be at one with mother Earth and believe that they do not have a monopoly of truth.
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What does The Findhorn Foundation's worship or religious practice involve?
Involves talking to vegetables or apologising to a weed that they have pulled from the ground.
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In spite of their image of being tree-huggers, what is The Findhorn Foundation?
Very profitable capitalist enterprise and its organic produce is highly sought after.
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The Findhorn Foundation fits into what?
Robertson's definition of a cult or a World-affirming NRM (Wallis) or a cult movement (Stark and Bainbridge).
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What do members of The Findhorn Foundation subscribe to?
Subscribe to the ideology of Findhorn and are committed to the cause but do so under their own volition.
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What is the state of The Findhorn Foundation community?
It is thriving and has been around since 1962 so cannot be said to be short-lived and could only function if there was some sort of bureaucracy operating behind the scene.
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What do these attributes of The Findhorn Foundation community not conform to?
These attributes do not conform to the standard definition of a cult and, hence, whether Findhornn is a cult again depends on how one defines a cult.
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Who established The Aetherius Society?
An ex-London taxi driver, George King, established this cult in 1955 after he recieved inter-galactic messages whilst doing the washing up.
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What does The Aetherius Society centre on?
The belief that although a number of spaceships are protecting Earth from malicious forces from other parts of the galaxy, the greatest threat to mankind comes from mankind.
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What are members of The Aetherius Society expected to take part in?
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What is an example of a mission that members of The Aetherius Society are expected to take part in?
Operation Prayer Power where they all chant simultaneously to generate energy to achieve world peace.
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What is there no definitive number of relating to The Aetherius Society?
No definitive number of members are available.
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How many claimed names are on The Aetherius Society's mailing list?
10,000 names, so it is a small-scale organisation.
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Why will the cult The Aetherius Society likely eventually fade away?
The charistmatic leader, King, died in 1997 and there was no natural successor to him.
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What is there no claim to be in The Aetherius Society and fits into what?
No claim to have a monopoly of truth and it fits Rotbertson's definition of a cult or a world affirming NRM (Wallis).
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Who else's idea does The Aetherius Society fit?
As regards to Stark and Bainbridge, it appears to fit their idea of audience cult, as the level of commitment required is minimal.
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Who are the 4 sociologists relating to the growth in popularity of sects?
Max Weber, Roy Wallis, Stark and Bainbridge and James Beckford.
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What does Max Weber's explanations replicate?
Marx's views of the role of religion in society.
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What does Weber claim that sects provide?
Sects provide a theodicy (a religious explanation and justificiation) for the disprivilege that certain members of society feel.
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What are marginalised members of society drawn into?
Drawin into the sect, as they are encouraged to believe that their membership could offer them a sense of honour and pride either in this life or the next.
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What provides a support for Weber's model of sects providing a theodicy?
The growth of the Nation of Islam in 1960s America provides evidence to support this model.
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Who has endorsed the idea that marginality is a major factor in the growth in the popularity of sects in his analysis of victims of war and natural disasters?
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What did Roy Wallis argue relating to marginality and the growth in popularity of sects?
Sect members were not necessarily marginalised in the conventional sense of the word.
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What is an example of how Wallis thinks that sect member are not necessarily marginalised in the conventional sense of the word?
E.g. they are poor and no one cares about their plight.
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What did Wallis argue about sect members?
They came from traditional middle class backgrounds and that their alternative lifestyle choices (e.g. taking LSD or being hippies) had resulted in them too becoming marginalised.
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What did Wallis feel that middle class dropouts were attracted to?
Middle class dropouts were attracted to the isolated, communal life that is associated with many aspects.
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What did Stark and Bainbridge argue about relative deprivation and membership of religious groups?
When certain members of an established religion believe that they are not prosperous as other members of the congregation feel a sense of relative deprivation.
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What did Stark and Bainbridge think that the successful members of the established religion did?
Begin to distort the religion to suit their new status and the rest feel that their religion has somehow been sullied.
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What did Stark and Bainbridge think that the successful members of a religion did after they distorted the religion?
They may break away and form a sect that caters for their spiritual and societal needs.
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What lends support to Starka and Bainbridge's explanation of a religion?
The formation of the Metholodist Church, as evaluated by Bryan Wilson, lends support to this explanation of the growth in popularity of sects.
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What did James Beckford reject relating to peopel wanted a radical alternartive to existing religions?
Rejected both of the above factors (marginality and relative deprivation) in explaining the growth in popularity of Jehovah's Witnesses.
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Where the majorty of Jehovah's Witnesses that he encountered in his research from?
Were from either the upper working or lower middles classes.
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What did Beckford consequently argue relating to his research into finding out where Jehova's Witnesses were from?
Such people are unlikely to be marginalised or suffer from relative deprivation.
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Why did Beckford think that believe that people joined Jehovah's Witnesses?
Because as a sect, it was a radical alternative to mainstream Christianity that provided them with a sense of religious fulfilment.
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Why did Roy Wallis argue that there is a growth in popularity of World-rejecting NRMs?
Social changes in the 1960s meant that the experience of youth was different to that of previous generations.
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Why did Wallis think that young people are particularly drawn to World-rejecting NRMs?
Because they offered an alternative outlook of life to the vision provided by their parents.
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What similar point to Wallis did Steve Bruce make?
Similar point in that he argued that world-rejecting NRMs were popular amongst young people because of the failure of the hippie movement to actually change society.
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What did Bruce claim that young people wanted relating to religion?
Wanted a more radical solution to help them cope with their disillusionment with mainstream society.
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What do neither Wallis nor Bruce focus on?
Why individuals would join World-accomadating NRMs.
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What does Wallis argue relating to World-affirming NRMs?
Argues that people feel that they are rather inadequate in the eyes of their peers.
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Why do people who feel that they are rather inadequate in the eyes of their peers, join World-affirming NRMs?
Often feel drawn to such groups as they are offered the chance of personal improvement and an opportunity to rediscover their real self.
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What similar point to Wallis's did Steve Bruce make about membership of World-affirming NRMs?
He claimed that membership World-affirming NRMs gave people an opportunity to attain access but also a sense of spirituality in what is an increasingly rationalised and fragmented world.
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What did John Drane argue relating to Post modernity and growth in popularity of NAMs?
Such was the level of disillusionment with the modernist metanarrative that science and reason would make the world a better place that members of society are now looking to find something new to give them a sense of spirituality.
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What did Drane argue that members of society do not want?
Do not want off-the-shelf-pre-packaged solutions that have been offered to them, they are instead increasingly turning to the holistic milieu offered by NAMs.
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What can members of society develop in the holistic milieu offered by NAMs?
In this space they can develop their own spirituality by getting in touch with their inner selves in the postmodern age.
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What did Steve Bruce disagree with relating to modernity?
Disagrees with Drane's argument that the popularity of NAMs is linked to the advent of the postmodern age.
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What does Bruce contend about the particular trend in the above card?
This particular trend is linked to the very modernist idea of individualism.
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What is individualism the ability to do?
The ability to do what you want on the proviso that it does not interfere with other people's lives and the right to hold unorthodox views.
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What did Bruce think that NAMs offered the chance for members to do?
The chance for the individual to unlock their hidden potential and to determine for them what is and is not true rather than just believing the status quo.
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For these reasons (previous card), what does Bruce state about the popularity of NAMs?
They are popular amongst the university educated middle classes and those who work for local authorities (e.g. teachers) who are particularly keen to find their own parth in life rather than trust the word of scientists or priests.
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What similar point to Bruce about the popularity of NAMs did Paul Heelas make?
In that he believed that NAMs provided people with an opportunity to make sense of the complex world that we inhabit in an individualised fashion.
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Who are the three sociologists associated with Gender and Religiosity (Religiosity by gender, ethnicity and age)?
Miller and Hoffman, Grace Davie and Heelas and Woodhead.
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What do Miller and Hoffman argue about the values that we associate with feminity (e.g. passivity and being caring)?
They are emphasised by most religions whereas the converse is the case for stereotypical maleness.
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Why do Miller and Hoffman think that women feel a stronger moral obligation in reference to religiosity?
The fact that women tend to assume primary responsibility for caring for other family members (e.g. young children or the elderly and frail) means that they feel a stronger moral obligation in reference to religiosity.
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Give an example of women feeling a stronger moral obligation in reference to religiosity?
They may think that it is part of their maternal role to pass on the family faith to the next generation or take an older family member to a place of formal worship.
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What did Grace Davie argue about the female life cycle?
Women are more likely to have direct experience of illness, p suffering than males.
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What does Davie's views about the female life cycle come back to?
Comes back to the nurturing side of their personality, e.g. they are the ones who give birth where their is a natural fear of either the mother or child could possibly die.
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What does Davie think is happening as people live longer?
Elderly relatives move in with their grown-up children who take care of them in their last years of life.
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Why does Davie ultimately conclude that women are more religious than men?
These experiences make women confront their own mortality in a way that men do not have to and, consequently, they are more religious.
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What did Heelas and Woodhead find out about people who engaged in NAMs?
Found that 80% of the people who were engaged in NAMs were women in the Kendal study.
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What did Heelas and Woodhead contend about how 80% of women involved in NAMs partook in the Kendal study?
A possible reason for this was the fact that many of the activities in the holistic milieu were connected with feelings of self worth.
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What do Heelas and Woodhead think that women celebrate?
Celebrate nature in which women have always been ascribed a high status e.g. Mother Earth and as a result women feel valued and appreciated in a way that they are not in traditional faith.
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Who have made similar points to Heelas and Woodhead about women and religion?
Bruce and Brown have made similar points in their analysis of why so many women engage in the new age compared to men.
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What did John Bird claim about ethnicity and religiosity?
The statistical picture of high participation rates of people from ethnic minority communities doesn't actually indicate their religiosity.
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What does John Bird argue is the real reason why different ethnic groups congregate at different religious institutions (mosques, temples etc)?
Is to allow them to meet up with people of their own cultural background.
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What can people do by meeting up with people of their own cultural background?
They can reminisce about life back home, can speak their own language and generally network.
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What does the connnection between people of the same cultural background allow?
Keeps their cultural heritage alive rather than becoming assimilated into the host society.
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What does Bird call this preservation of cultural heritage rather than becoming assimilated into the host society?
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Why do people carry out cultural defence?
It gives them a feeling of security in what is often a racist and hostile world.
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Who made similar point to Bird?
Both Kepel and Giddens made similar points in their analysis of why so many young Muslim men have become devout in their faith since 9/11.
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What was Steve Bruce subtly different in his analysis of what?
In his analysis of high religiosity of non-white British citizens.
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What did Bruce similarly recognise to Bird?
Recognised that the real purpose of attending formal religious worship was not connected with God.
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What did Bruce argue is the reason for the real purpose of attending formal religious worship wasn't connected with God?
He argued that it was something associated with first generation immigrants.
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Why did Bruce think that attending formal religious worship was to do with first generation immigrants?
These settlers were originally homesick and uncertain of the ways of their new host country so sought other people in order to help them make the adjustment.
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What did Bruce claim happened once they had adapted?
They no longer needed to maintain these links so their children and children's children would gradually assimilate and have no need to practice.
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What did Bruce call this assimiliation from religion?
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Who drew similar conclusions to Bruce analysis of ethnicity and religion?
Herberg drew similar conclusions to his analysis of religion amongst migrant groups in 1960s America.
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What did Ken Pryce find in his classic study of Bristol's black community?
Found that some of the religiosity was the product of the desire to assimilatr and other aspects were symptomatic of a desire not to integrate.
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What did Pryce claim could be seen as an example of using religion as a vehicle to achieve cultural transmission.
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Give an example of a location where Pentecostalism can be found?
Some West Indians embraced values similar to those of the Calvinists who Weber discussed in his analysis of the protestant work ethic.
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Give an example of West Indians embracing values similar to those of Calvinists who Weber discussed in his analysis of the protestant work ethic?
Their faith allowed them to think and act more like white people and therefore fit in.
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Who were the exact opposite to West Indians fitting in with Calvinists?
Rastafarians, because it was a political statement saying that my culture is better than yours and being a Rasta is symbolic of that.
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What did Voas and Crockett attempt to explain relating to age and religiosity?
The lack of religiosity of 20 and 30 year olds and the much higher participation rates of those who are already or are approaching retirement in the Church of England.
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What did Voas and Crockett think brings you closer to God?
Having an awareness of your own mortality.
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Who is this judgement similar to?
Davie argued about why females are more religious than males.
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What did Voas and Crockett coin the term of their age and relgious link theory?
The ageing effect.
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What do Voas and Crockett argue that younger people do not have?
Do not have the same fears as older people.
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What did young people not get to develop according to Voas and Crockett?
The habit of going to church is simply one that many young people never get the opportunity to develop due to their parent's lack of faith.
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What do Voas and Crockett estimate about children that lapse?
Estimate that half of children with religious parents lapse as they themselves become adults.
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What is there an ever increasing smaller pool of?
Ever increasing smaller pool of Christians to re-populate from.
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What do Voas and Crockett term the ever incrasing smaller pool of Christians to re-populate from?
The generational effect.
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What does Richard Gill argue about age and religiosity?
That in many instances a child may have grown up in a household where no-one in their family is particularly religious.
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What is the net result of children growing up in households where no-one in their nuclear family is particularly religious?
As Voas and Crockett argue, they are never socialised into a particular faith.
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What does the absence of religion from their childhood mean?
They never develop a belief in God.
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What did Gill think that children will bear in years to come?
Having even less exposure to religion; meanwhile the number of adherents will continue to decline because not only will there be a lack of new entrants but also those do still worship will gradually die off.
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The Secularisation Debate.
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What did Steve Bruce argue about decline in religious worship demonstrates secularisation?
Argues that British people are clearly not as religious as they used to be.
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When were British people actively religious?
In the Middle Ages and Victorian era, UK citizens were active religious participants whom attended Church services as a matter of course.
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Statistical analysis reveals what about how many people attended church in the Victorian times?
40% of the adult population attended church in 1851.
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What do statistics reveal about how many people attended church in 2000?
7.4% of adults.
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When the Church called for assistance in the past, what happened?
Be it financial help or soldiers, the masses contributed sometimes with their own lives.
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What is it unlikely that would happen in modern Britain?
People wouldn't happily lay down their lives for the Christian faith.
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What did Bruce recognise that is happening in all Christian Trinitarian traditions (Catholic, Methodist etc)?
Membership numbers are continuing to fall.
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Where did Bruce recognise are the only areas where there is a growth in relgious affiliation?
In other faiths and non-Trinitarian churches (e.g. Jehovah's Witnesses).
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What did Rodney Stark argue about we have never been a religious society, therefore, we have not become more secular?
Apart from the usual criticisms that are levelled at Bruce's faith in official statistics on religiosity, Stark is very critical of the idea that there was ever a golden age of religion where in the majority of people were god-fearing Christians.
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What does Stark argue about statistics of religious people?
Even if we assume that the historical data on religiosity was accurate (many doubt its validity and reliability), just because 40% of the population went to Church this does not prove that they were doing this for religious reasons.
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What other reasons did Stark think there might be for people attending church?
To maintain the family name or to trade or simply to catch up on the gossip rather than to commune with God.
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What does Stark rather controversially ultimately argue?
That we have never been a nation of willing religious participants, and we cannot, by definition, have gone through a process of secularisation.
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What does Grace Davie argue about we still believe but we don't belong, therefore, we have not become more secular?
She approaches the issue from a different angle to the other writers in that rather than focussing upon institutionalised religious participation (going to Church), she looks at the idea of believing without belonging.
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What does Davie mean by believing without belonging?
That one may believe in God and even define themselves as a Christian but this doesn't mean that they will go to Church.
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What does Davie use to support her hypothesis?
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What does census data reveal about atheists?
Only a small proportion of people profess to being atheits or agnostics, which implies that many people still believe in something.
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In surveys, what do large numbers of people still do?
Large numbers of people still tick boxes in surveys that they believe in Heaven and Helll.
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What can you not consequently claim according to Davie?
Cannot claim that we are now a secular society just because church attendance has declined, you have to measure participation in a broader sense.
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Who adopted Grace Davie's views on we still believe but we don't belong, therefore, we have not become more secular?
Heelas and Woodhead.
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What was Steve Bruce highly critical of relating to the religiosity of certain ethnic groups does not undermine the secularisation thesis?
Highly critical of the notion that the religiosity of various ethnic minority groups disproved the secularisation thesis.
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What does Steve Bruce claim that religion forms?
Religion forms but one aspect of one's ethnicity (along with language and music, for instance) and that the expression of faith has more to do with asserting one's identity as opposed to a love of the faith.
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What is an example of the expression of faith has more to do with asserting one's identity as opposed to a love of the faith?
Many Jewish people who have never been inside a synagogue still label themselves as Jewiss.
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What did Steve Bruce claim is a second motive for keeping the faith?
May be a desire to provide a focal meeting point for migrants to a new country that allows them to offer mutual support and maintain cultural traditions.
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What does Bruce claim about second and third generation migrants?
Second or third generation migrants tend to abandon their genetic religiosity as they become assimilated into the dominant cultural group.
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What does Gilles Kepel directly contradict relating to the growth in religiosity of certain ethnic groups does undermine the secularisation thesis?
Directly contradicts Bruce's argument that ethnic minorities will jettison their religious views once they have settled into a new society.
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What does Kepel argue is the failure of modernity?
Failure of modernity to provide answers and the global resurgance of world religions has resulted in many members of ethnic minority groups rediscovering their traditional faiths.
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Give an example of ethnic minority groups rediscovering their traditional faiths?
The Islamophobia that many Muslims felt post 9/11 has undoubtedly led to a rise in popularity for Islam amongst young Pakistani and Somali migrants to the UK.
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What is it likely that religion has become for members of ethnic minority groups rediscovering their traditional faiths?
Likely that religion has become the focus of their identity rather than a means to an end.
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What is evidence for ethnic minority groups using religion for becoming the focus of their identity rather than a means to an end?
British Muslims who went off to join the jihad or British Jews who volunteer for National Service in Israel.
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Who makes a similar point to Kepel relating to the growth in religiosity of certain ethnic groups does undermine the secularisation thesis?
Giddens makes a similar point in his analysis of fundamentalism.
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What is Bryan Wilson particularly critical of relating to growth in popularity of sects and NRMs does not undermine the secularisation thesis?
Particularly critical of the view that the growth of sects and NRMs is evidence to challenge the fact that Britain is now a secular society.
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What does Wilson compare the rise of Methodism in the 18th Century England to?
Transcendental Meditation (TM) traditions that were common place in the 1960s.
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Why did Wilson think that Transcendental Meditation (TM) traditions were commonplace in the 1960s have significance?
Significance in improving the lives of the working classes and made an impact on society as a whole.
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What was Transcendental Meditation (TM) merely?
Merely a self-indulgent charade in which members could temporarily dropout of society and re-integrate themselves when they feel like it.
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What did Wilson argue for relating to NRMs or NAMs?
Argued that for NRMs or NAMs to be considered worthy challengers to his views on secularisation they had to mount a serious effort to fill the religious vacuum in modern Britain.
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As NRMs and NAMs had not mounted a serious effort to fill the religious vacuum in modern Britain, what did Wilson do?
He arrogantly dismissed them - a view that Heelas and Woodhead sought to test in a more rigorous fashion.
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What did Andrew Greeley argue relating to growth in popularity of sects and NRMs does undermine the secularisation thesis?
Argues that the biggest recent trend in religious practice has been the rise in membership of World-rejecting sects such as Jehovah's Witnesses suggests that there has been a resacilisation of modern society.
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What are members of such sects such as Jehovah's Witnesses expected to do?
Expected to show total commitment to their faith.
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What is an example of Jehovah's Witnesses members showing total commitment to their faith?
Jehovah's Witnesses will refuse a blood transfusion that may save the life of their own sick child.
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What has there been an upsurge in interest in according to Greeley?
An upsurge in interest in religious belief and in identifying sacred objects a view that directly challenged the secularisation thesis.
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What did Heelas and Woodhead lead relating to a spiritual revolution is taking place, therefore, the world is not as secular as others argue?
Led the Kendal Project.
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What is the Kendal Project?
A piece of research that conducted a body count of all individuals who engaged in some form of religious activity (e.g. going to conventional church service or attending an aromatherapy session) to estimate extent of religiosity in town of Kendal.
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What did Heelas and Woodhead want to see was happening?
Wanted to see if a spiritual revolution and a process of sacrilisation was occurring.
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What is sacrilisation a process of?
A process that involves identifying and defining certain objects as being sacred.
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What does the process of sacrilisation mirror?
Mirrors what Greeley said about NRMs.
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What do Heelas and Woodhead argue?
That rather than these sacred objects telling you how to interact with others those of NAMs are more inner-directed and personalised.
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What does the fact that NAMs are more inner-directed and personalised link to?
Links into post-modernist ideas about subjectivisation (people wanted bespoke rather than off-the-shelf lives).
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What can a New Ager select from a range of?
Select from a range of activities in a holistic milieu to find that inner peace and understanding.
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What did Heelas and Woodhead find about traditional practice?
Found that traditional practice had waned (as the secularisation thesis predicted, however, the numbers engaged in NAMs were too small to claim that a spiritual revolution had taken place.
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What did Heelas and Woodhead argue about NAMs?
That if NAMs continued to grow at the same rate that eventually the number of new agers would exceed the numbers engaged in conventional practice.
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What may it yet be too soon to dismiss according to Heelas and Woodhead?
Too soon to dismiss the impact of religion on society and claim that secularisation has taken place.
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What did David Martin evaluate relating to religion became privatised and personal, therefore, society is not secular as others would argue?
Evaluated the way in which religion has gradually lost the influence that it has over the political decision making process from the heyday in medieval England where there was no divide to modern Britain where religion has disengaged from politics.
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What is the consequence of religion being disengaged from modern politics according to David Martin?
Religion can now exclusively focus on the needs of individual church members and it a purer entity.
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What does this mirror?
Mirrors Parsons' notion that state intitutions will become more specialised as societies advanced.
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What does religion no longer have?
A political function and in that sense political life has become more secular but in terms of day-to-day life.
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What might religion still be?
Religion may still be significant and, therefore, society may not be as secular as some sociologists would argue.
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What does Steve Bruce argue relating to relgion has less influence over the state, therefore, society is more secular?
He too argues that a process of disengagement has occurred in modern British society where the church has become less influential in the decision making process.
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What did Bruce analyse the relationship between?
Analysed the relationship between the Church of England and the Conservative governments from 1979-1997.
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What did the Conservative governments from 1979-1997 actively advocate?
Actively advocated no nuclear disarmament and not demanding that policies should be introduced to eliminate poverty.
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Unlike Martin, what does Bruce argue about religion?
Religion doesn't even help individuals get through their lives.
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Why does Bruce think that religion doesn't even help individuals get through their lives?
In an increasingly egalitarian society based upon meritocratic principles people have increasingly rejected the idea of fixed hierachies and, consequently, do not seek a God to place at the top of the pile, thus secularisation has fact taken place.
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What does Jose Casanova challenge relating to religion is more politically influential (deprivatised) but in spite of this, society is still secular.
Challenged the belief that religion had been disengaged from political life.
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What does Jose Casanova state about his challenge that religion has been disengaged from political life?
Nearly every conflict throughout the 1990s had a religious dimension at its core (e.g. ethnic cleansing in Kosovo).
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What had religion forced itself back into according to Casanova?
Religion had forced itself back onto the political agenda and had moved away from its narrow focus on the individual - it was deprivatised.
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What did Casanova's ideas reflect?
Reflected the neo-Marxist views on liberation theologies as advocated by Maduro.
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What does Casanova argue which contradicts himself?
He still argues that society is generally more except for the political sphere.
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What did Max Weber argue relating to as society becomes more rational it has lees need for religion, therefore, society is more secular?
He argues that a feature of modernity was that magical and mysterious explanations for the unexplainable (e.g. why did my crops fail?) were condemned as being unsatisfactorily.
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What have members of society become according to Max Weber?
Somewhat disenchanted with religion as they attempted to become more rational and scientific in their outlook on life.
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What did Weber predict about anything to do with the supernatural world?
Anything to do with the supernatural world would gradually be condemned to the dustbin of history.
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What did Weber conclude about as society becomes more rational it has less need for religion, therefore, society is more secular?
As society becomes more rational it has less need for religion, therefore, society will become more secular.
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What does Peter Berger's analysis centre around relating people need for religion but they don't turn to it because society is more secular?
His analysis centres around the socially constructed nature of reality and how individuals make sense of the world around them.
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What did Peter Berger think that the function of religion is?
Function of religion is to provide a set of symbols and rituals that individual members of society can interact with to give them a sense of meaning and, therefore, negotiate thier way through life.
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What is an example of religion providing a set of symbols and rituals that individual members of society can interact with to give them a sense of meaning, and, therefore, negotiate their way through life?
White wedding represented everything that was once special about the marriage institution and for many it defined their existence.
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Why does Berger think that the value of religios beliefs has been undermined and religion has lost its credibility?
Due to our increasingly multi-ethnic, multi-media globalised society.
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What do Postmodernists call this undermining of the value of religious beliefs and loss of relgion's credibility.
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What did Berger himself bemoan?
This loss of religious value and that this had created a vacuum where by individual members of society no longer had their religion to help them cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life.
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What did Berger term this created vacuum where by individual members of society no longer had their religion to help them cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life?
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What did Berger conclude about people need for religion but they don't turn to it because society is now secular?
Members of society would be a lot happier if secularisation had not taken place.
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What did Steve Bruce look at relating to people need for religion but they don't turn to it because society is now secular?
Looked at the way in which we utilise technology to shape our environment and control the world.
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What has Bruce's research on the way in which we utilise technology to shape out envvironment and control the world removed?
Removed much of the uncertainty from our daily lives, and, therefore, reduced the scope for human beings to turn to religion to provide answers.
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What did Bruce obviously state about some things?
There are some things that are in the lap of the gods and that no scientists can control (e.g. the death of a child) and in these instances individuals may turn to less rational explanations - it was God's will.
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Why does Bruce's views of technology not undermine his belief in secularisation?
Religion has gone from being the natural place to look for solutions for all members of society to a situation where it offers individuals people a last resort solution.
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What did David Martin argue relating to globally, religion still prevails, therefore, secularisation is not universal?
One of the main arguemnts of the secularisation thesis was that as different nations industrialised and entered modernity that science and scientific methodologies would replace God and supernatural theodiecies of the universe.
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What does Martin think that this prediction of science replacing religion taken place and not taken place globally?
Happened in the UK and other northern European countries, but not in the USA, the Catholic nations of the Mediterranean (e.g. Italy), Latin America or the Middle East.
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What does Martin's research reveal that religion tends to do?
Religion tends to survive in multi-ethnic societies or when one's identity is threatened (Catholics in Northen Ireland).
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What does Martin conclude about globaly, religion still prevails, therefore, secularisation is not universal?
One has to look at the broader picture and that fact that it is only in certain nations where religious participation has declined as the original secularisation theorists predicted.
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What was Meera Nanda intrigued by relating to globally, religion still prevails, therefore, secularisation is not universal?
Intrigued by the religiosity of India's middle class Hindu elite.
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What would one assume about India's middle class Hindu elite according to Nanda?
One would assume that these were the very people that would have bought into the modernist belief that religion is no longer relevant.
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Why did Nanda think that the middle class Hindu elite can not bought into modernist belief that religion is no longer relevant?
The middle class inteligentsia are re-discovering their Hindu faith rather than rejecting it.
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What does Nanda's theory on the Indian middle class Hindu elite maintaining their religion challenge?
Challenges David Martin's contention that modern faith is based on either coping with poverty or the need to protect a threatened identity.
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What did Nanda argue about the need for faith amongst the Indian middle class Hindu elite?
Their need for faith allowed them in many ways to cope with the guilt they experienced as a result of embracing consumerism.
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What did Traditional Hinduism frown upon?
Traditional Hinduism frowned on such behaviour as consumerism.
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What has a more postmodern version of the faith that has emerged which does what differently to Traditional Hinduism?
Religious television stations are fronted by Gurus who give them a relligious blessing for their affluence and a series of expensive and ostentatious rituals to spend their hard earned rupees on.
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What did Nanda conclude about the religiosity of new entreprenuers in India, Brazil, and China shows that the world is becoming a more as opposed to a less religious place?
As India becomes more prosperous that religion will flourish rather than diminish, showing how secularisation many only be a Northern European phenomenon.
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What did Gordon Redding speculate on relating to the religiosity of new entrepreneurs in India, Brazil and China shows that the wolrd is becoming a more as opposed to a less religious place?
Speculated on the reasons for the growing entrepreneurial spirit in modern China.
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What did Redding recognise was happening at the time of the cultural revolution in China?
Religion was banned by the Communist leaders claimig it was an imperialist created tool to control the masses (reflecting Marx's views).
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What did Redding not was happening amongst the growing bourgeoisie in China?
They seemed to share a faith in what he labelled neo-Confucianism.
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What did Redding claim about those in China who adhered to the faith of neo-Confucianism?
They had a set of beliefs and values that were very similar to those described by Weber in regards to Calvinists.
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Who reached similar conclusions to Redding?
Peter Berger reached similar conclusions in his research into the rise of Pentecostalism in Central and South America.
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What does the research of both Redding and Berger demonstrate?
Just as the case was in India that middle class capitalists were embracing rather than reflecting religion, and, therefore on a global level the world is becoming less rather than more secular.
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What did Anthony Giddens try to explain in relation to uncertainty generated in late modernity has led to a demand for the certainty of fundamentalist solutions, and, therefore, the world has not secularised?
Tried to explain why fundamentalism may be so popular in late modernity.
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What did Giddens argue that lots of people had embraced?
Lots of people had embraced what he termed cosmopolitanism in which they were free to make certain choices about how to live their lives (e.g. social monogamy as opposed to monogamy).
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What did Giddens think that many of these cosmopolitan ideas had undermined?
Undermined traditional religious beliefs and created uncertainty.
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As a result, what did Giddens think emerged due to cosmopolitan ideas undermining traditional religious beliefs and created uncertainty?
As a result NRMs and sects emerged which directly challenged the so-called progress made during modernity.
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What is an example of cosmopolitan ideas which have directly challenged the so-called progress made during modernity?
Many fundamentalists challenge the ideas of evolutionary science and instead advocate a Creationist interpretation using Intelligent Design.
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What did fundamentalists that challenge the ideas of evolutionary science and instead advocate a Creationist interpretation using Intelligent Design want a return to?
Wanted a return to a by-gone age where religous dogma provided a definite and unquestionable guide as to how one should live, re-capturing the basic truths of one's faith.
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Why does Giddens view of fundamentalists seem more plausible when one considers what?
When one considers that there are am large fundamentalist versions of Christianity (particularly in the USA); Buddhism (in Sri Lanka); Islam (throughout the middle East).
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What does Giddens shed light on relating to fundamentalist religion?
Sheds light on why fundamentalist religions are popular, and, therefore, may prove why it may be too premature to say that the world is becoming more secular.
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What similar point to Giddens does Kepel make?
Makes a similar point in his analysis of why many British born kids are drawn into the Arab-Israeli conflict.
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What similar point to both Durkheim and Bellah did Will Herberg make relating to American society appears to be religious, but the religion they consume is watered down so it actually is more representative of society than God?
When he was writing in 1960 he made a similar point to both Durkheim and Bellah about how religion in modernist societies ends up with society worshipping itself rather than God.
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Why does American society worship itself rather than God according to Herberg?
American society has religious plurality, and, therefore, the Catholic, Protestant and Jewish traditions essentially all promote shared values rather than religious dogma.
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What is the irony about American society and it worshipping itself?
Although Americans often celebrate their religiosity, Herberg actually believes it is a very secular society.
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What did L. Davidman think in contrast to Plaskow relating to America has re-discovered religion in response to the popularity of New Right political ideology?
In contrast to what Plaskow said about how modern women had been attracted to liberal and reform Judaism because of its non-patriarchal context, Davidman argued that many American women had converted back to Orthodox Judaism.
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What did Davidman think that many American women had converted back to Orthodox Judaism?
Their main rationale for doing so was a belief that it reflected the segregated conjugal roles and the importance of motherhood to those who subscribed to new right political views.
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What did Davidman highlight it was almost shameful to do in the 1970s and 80s?
It had become shameful 'just' to be a mother who relied on her man, whereas in the more traditional version of the faith housewives had a status and felt valued.
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Why does the change in 1970s and 80s of women being shameful for relying on their man, show how Herberg's views had become outdated?
America had definitely rejected secular life and had rediscovered the importance in faith.
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Who has a similar pattern of secularisation occurred for according to Davidman?
A similar pattern has emerged for American Christians.
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What had the pro-life body resorted to according to Davidman?
The pro-life body has resorted to extreme measures (including murder) to protect unborn foetuses and many American teenage girls proudly boast about their virginity.
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Science, Ideology and Belief.
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Who are the two main sociologists relating to open belief systemns and Scince, Ideology and Belief?
Karl Popper and Robert Merton.
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What did Karl Popper argue relating to open belief systems?
Argues that what makes scientific belief superior to other belief systems is the notion that their truths are falsifiable.
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In essence, what is a scientific belief based on according to Karl Popper?
Published in the public domain and fellow scientists have the opportunity to replicate the research to substantiate its findings.
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What did Popper think that much scientific discovery is built upon?
Built upon the insight revealed by earlier scientists thus helping to ensure that new theories are coherent with earlier ones.
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What did Karl Popper think that, more importantly, there are not in science?
No sacred cows in science in that at any time a new experiment can successfully challlenge an earlier idea and this new truth is then integrated into the canon of scientific knowledge.
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Who did Robert Merton develop similar conclusions to relating to open belief systems?
Developed similar conclusions to Popper when he reflected on the distinctiveness of scientific belief to other belief systems.
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What did Merton focus on?
Focused on the core values or the ethos of scientific research to provide the answer.
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What acronym did Merton derive to encapsulate his ideas?
CUDOS (Communism Universalism Disinteredness Organised Scepticism.
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What did Merton mean by Communism in his acronym?
All scientific knowledge should be put in the public domain to generate further scientific discovery.
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What did Merton mean by Universalism in his acronym?
Scientific knowledge is true because of the processes that were followed not because the scientist was from a particular socio-economic group (e.g. middled-aged white man).
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What did Merton mean by Disinteredness in his acronym?
The glory derives form adding to scientific knowledge rather than becoming a famous scientist so this reduces the temptation to make false claims.
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What did Merton mean by Organised Scepticism in his acronym?
There are no sacred cows; all scientific ideas can be challenged.
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What anthropological research did Evans-Pritchard conduct relating to open, belief systems?
Conducted anthropological research into a group called the Azande who practice witchcraft as a way of solving disputes.
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What duid Evans-Pritchard recognise shall happen among he Azande group if something unusual happens to a member of the group (e.g. their crops suddenly fail)?
They will suspect that they are the victim of witchcraft.
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What did Evans-Pritchard recognise will happen to a member of the group (e.g. their crops suddenly fail)?
They will go to the diviner (the person who administers the poison, benge) and ask him to give benge to a live chicken and then say that if the chicked dies the accused is guilty and if its lives, they are innocent.
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What can happen after the verdict has passed in the Azande group?
They can then confront the wrong-doer and demand a public apology and this prevents the dispute from festering and undermining the cohesion of the group.
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What is the interesting about the Azande according to Evans-Pritchard?
The Azande have developed a number of explanations to ensure that their belief in witchcraft is never undermined even if the verdict seems bizarre.
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What is an example of the Azande have developed a number of explanations to ensure that their belief in witchcraft is never undermined even if the verdict seems bizarre?
The wrong-doer may not be aware that they had been possessed in the first place or if the chicken dies before the diviner asks the question of guilt the benge is deemed to have been faulty.
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What does Evans-Pritchard argue about the religious belief system of the Azande?
Is closed as it actively rejects any evidence which could be used to challenge it.
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What does Evans-Pritchard contrast his views with?
Contrasts this strongly with our own scientific knowledge which can and does change in the light of counter evidence.
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What were Berger and Luckmann possibly the first to argue relating to social construction of reality?
Possibly the first to argue that all belief systems are socially constructed and whether it is the case of scinece or religious believers that are socialised into believing a particular universe of meaning.
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What do Berger and Luckmann think that this story is taught and re-taught to people?
So it appears to be utterly plausible.
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What could the universe of meaning be equally based on?
Based on faith or on scientific observation but Berger and Luckmann say that this is a fragile truth that is far from universal.
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What is a contemporary example of that it is a fragile truth that is far from universal?
A contemporary example of this is the debate between evolutionists and creationists.
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What did Thomas Kuhn derive almost the opposite conclusion to relating to closed systems?
Opposite conclusion to those of Popper and Merton.
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What did Thomas Kuhn ironically argue about the Azande group?
That just as the Azande work in a closed system and disregard any evidence that challenges their faith in witchcraft, scientists do exactly the same thing.
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What does Thomas Kuhn argue about scientific knowledge?
He argues that scientific knowledge is developed within a set paradigm that it resistant to any contrary evidence.
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What does Kuhn argue that old and new scientists are socialised into?
Socialised into this belief system and this actually restricts the possibilty fo new ideas being generated.
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What happens when scientists do challenge existing orthodoxy according to Kuhn?
They are often dismissed and their work is not given serious consideration.
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What did Kuhn think will happen over the fullness of time (possibly after 200/300 years)?
Cracks will appear in the paradigm and eventually new ideas will become incorporated and a new paradigm will be generated.
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What does Kuhn call this incorporation of a new paradigm?
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What similar conclusions did Polyani reach to Kuhn relating to closed systems?
Polyani reached similar conclusions based on his research into how belief systems are closed to counter arguments rather than open criticism.
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What did Karin Knorr-Cetina argue relating to closed systems?
One of the reasons why science is often thought to be distinct from other belief systems it that it is supposedly built on facts as opposed to faith.
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What does Knorr-Cetina argue about scientists?
Scientists often create tools and instruments to measure what they claim to see and use data from this to support their hypothesis.
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What do scientists do in other instances according to Knorr-Cetina?
In other instances they support a pattern but they do not have the evidence to back up the transition from one of the stages to another.
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How do scientists consequently prove their ideas?
Consequently they prove their ideas by extension (i.e. this is true therefore that is true); there is an intuitive jump rather than one based on strong evidence.
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What does Kuhn's views lend support to?
Lends support to the conclusion that science is not as objective and open as other theorists have claimed.
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What does Steve Woolgar back up relating to Knorr-Cetina and closed systems?
Backs up what Knorr-Cetina says about science in his evaluationof how scientists began to explore pulsars.
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What did scientists do when data first started coming back from radio telescopes?
The scientists noticed a particular pattern that they could not explain.
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What did the scientists call this particular pattern that they could not explain?
Little Green Men I and II (LGM I and LGM II).
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As they couldn't publish their findings, what did they develop?
They developed a theory to fill in the gaps.
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What do now accept about these pulsars?
Now we tend to accept that their little green men were in fact pulsars.
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What does Steven Woolgar claim about facts?
Many facts are only 'proved' because of a scientist's ability to convince their peers that their interpretation is accurate.
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Overview of Ideology as a Belief System.
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What did Karl Marx argue about the bourgeoisie were?
Were in a dominant position in capitalist societies because of their control over the economic base (the infrastructure).
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What did Marx think that the bourgeosie had to use because of the inherent inequality?
Had to use the superstructure (schools, religion) to fool the proletariat into accepting this.
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What did Marx argue that the bourgeoisie created and used?
Created and used state institutions to promote ruling class ideology that helped to generate a flase class consciousness amongst the masses - an ideological belief system.
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What did Kate Millett argue in a similar vein to Marx?
Radical feminists also claim that an ideological belief system has been imposed on men and women to ensure that males are the dominant gender.
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What does Millett think of state institutions?
State institutions promote patriarchal as opposed to ruling class ideology.
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What does Millett think that men have done over many centuries?
Men have conspired to make it seem natural and inevitable that women are the primary care givers - a woman's place is in the home.
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What does Millett think that men unlike scientists (Marx's bourgeoisie) do not have to provide?
Provide evidence to justify their priveleged position in society.
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What does Millett think that men rely on to maintain their dominant position in society?
Men rely on brainwashing women to the extent where they do not consider themselves to be part of a wider structural group, and, therefore, are never in a position to question male authority.
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What was Antonio Gramsci less certain of?
The power of one group to ideologically control another by imposing a belief system into them.
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Why does Gramsci less certain of the power of one group to ideologically control another by imposing a belief system onto them?
This is because although the hegemonic message may be very persuasive, members of the proletariat have direct day to day experience of capitalist inequality.
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What does Gramsci call this proletariat day to day experience of capitalist inequality?
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What did Gramsci consequently think of left-thinking interllectuals?
Left-thinking intellectuals could affect revolutionary change by teaching t
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What did Bercombe Et Al take one step further?
Took it one step further than Gramsci in that they express doubt as to whether the working classes in any way buy into ruling class ideology.
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What do Bercombe Et Al think is the real reason why they accept their lot in a class stratified society rather than change it?
It is a financial necessity.
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What would happen if the working classes didn't sell thier labour?
They will experience a lifetime of poverty and unemployment which is even worse.
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What did Karl Mannheim have a radically different view to?
Radically different view to the other writers who have commented on ideological belief systems.
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What did Karl Mannheim claim about believe systems (world views)?
They were formulated by one social group either to justify or to challenge the current status quo.
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What did Mannheim think that ideological thought was used to do?
Used by one group to keep things the same or to advocate a move to a new type of society which is better than the current system (utopian thought).
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What did Mannheim argue was the problem with academics?
Academics had become too entrenched in one of these two extreme positions and therefore were unable to evaluate the best course of action society should take.
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What did Mannheim instead argue about academics?
Academics should rise above this and become a free-floating intelligentisa who can offer a total analysis rather than a partial based one.
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Other cards in this set
What sociological theories believe that religion is a conservative force?
Functionalism, Marxism and Radical Feminism.
What sociological theories believe that religion can be a conservative force and an initiator of change?
What sociological theory thinks that religion is an intiator of change?
What sociological theory thinks that relgion still has a function to play, but people no longer accept that it does?