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2.Critically examine the relationship between gender, religious participation and religious organisation. (40 marks)

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Introduction

Q6. Critically examine the relationship between gender, religious participation and religious organisation. (40 marks) Individual's religiosity, levels of an individual's connection with all aspects of religion, is the balance between our religious experience and our religious beliefs. Women are more likely to attend church, and more likely to say they belong to a church, therefore their religiosity emphasises commitment and membership (Jacklin 1970's) however this point was criticised by early feminist who believe women also have a strong religious belief and its absurd to say their religiosity only extents to commitment and membership, these factors exist as they are trying to set a good example for their family through providing another form of secondary socialisation. Another reason for women's more involvement in religion is due to a concept introduced by Miller and Hoffman who claim that because of differential socialisation, girls being socialised to be passive and to act more traditional and conservative, therefore their more religious. Due to things such as gendered language and subjects at schools e.g. ...read more.

Middle

therefore through the theodicy's of religion which acted as a tonic of self-confidence for them they were given a guide. Another fact to consider is that women simply live longer then men, therefore during times of loneliness they turn to religion as it provides them with a sense of community, and those who migrate to other countries religion allows cultural transition (Bruce). Marxist feminist Beauvoir recognises the unjust situation of women in society and argues they are being 'doubly-exploited'. Beauvoir believes that religion provides a theodicy of dispirivelege for women; providing them with a sacred canopy and acting as a bulwark against anomie (Berger) is a postmodern society. Stark and Bainbridge argue due to the compensation that religion provides, exchange theory, women feel more secure about life on earth as they defer their gratification. As feminist such as Armstrong have noted through monopolisation of the truth and monotheism female roles in religion have been lost e.g. more female effigies in the past. However a counter argument for all these points is that females seem to play a minor role in mainstream traditional religion however in New Religious movements (NRM's) ...read more.

Conclusion

Due to the increase in globalisation women through all aspects of society e.g. role models, T.V and internet are becoming more involved in the rationalised culture of paid work and more involved in the public sphere. Although Woodhead does note that women are less exposed to rationalisation therefore they may seem religious, which's creates a hidden figure in the statistics. Woodhead has been criticised for the fact that her views derive from a research area that's been neglected therefore further research needs to be conducted to acquire a more convincing theory. Although a positive evaluation would be that due to Woodhead's work future sociologists will be inspired to conduct research into these areas. Another positive aspect is that her research is modern therefore it's more relevant to today's rapidly changing constantly privatised society. However it should be noted tat some women feel the women's liberation movements have caused a mass confusion with regards to gender roles and this has been the outcome of rationalisation and gender-quake, as they have crated uncertainty and a crisis of identity which adds onto peoples feeling of insecurity with society. ...read more.

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