• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the view that cults and sects are inevitably short-lived and of little influence in contemporary society.

Extracts from this document...


Assess the view that cults and sects are inevitably short-lived and of little influence in contemporary society. Cults are religious groups, unlike sects because they believe their teachings are just one of many paths towards the pursuit of the truth. They are also more open to the outside world. There is a pursuit of the inner self and emphasis on experiencing inner power. A sect is usually fairly small in membership and very exclusive in their acceptance of members. They place great stress on obedience and strict conformity to the rules of the sect. They believe that only they know the correct way to Heaven. There are many explanations put forward to describe the future of sects/cults; one being that they have little influence and are short-lived. The loss of new generation can stop the sect from continuing as they were not converted into the sect but merely born into it. ...read more.


The very nature of their isolation from society means they will have little chance to influence it. Some sects and cults move away from society to the outskirts where they can build their communities and are close to people with the same beliefs. The fact that cults don't demand high attendance and members or customers can come and go as they please with no consequences means they have little influence on individual's lives. On the other hand, some sects/cults can turn into denominations for example the Methodist religion where the values and beliefs where accepted by many people until it eventually was accepted as a mainstream religion and became a denomination. The very success of a sect can lead to its down fall. The more membership grows the greater need for full time officials to manage the organization. This coupled with the toning down of its more extreme views and the rise in members status, leads the sect down the road to a denomination. ...read more.


The fact that there is a growth in these movements suggests they are becoming more influential. People must be joining them to gain some sort of self satisfactory whether it be physical or spiritual experiences it must be positive in some way. Celebrities can influence the public through the media to join cults because they had a positive experience whilst doing a certain activity. This can lead to membership increasing but not always for a long time. Niebuhr argues that sects are short-lived as they must either evolve into a denomination for example the Methodist religion and Quakers, or else die for example the Branch Dravidians. The future of a sect depends on how extreme its beliefs are. Some sects have found that if they wish to survive, they must tone down its more extreme views in order to be recognized and gain more membership then potentially becoming denomination. In conclusion sects and cults can be arguably called short-lived in society but there are many arguments against to suggest that sects and cults are not. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Media section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Media essays

  1. CENSORSHIP - A Liberal and Conservative View

    take a moment to ask yourself how much worse it might be without the c-word and remember your gratitude the next time you're tempted to rail against the evils of censorship. The conservatives see children, or the young generation as a whole, as the future.

  2. "Does the Mass Media Influence Youth Culture?"

    The options the questionnaire participants were offered as answers were: "not at all"; "influenced a little"; "influenced to some extent, but not excessively"; "influenced quite a lot"; and "very influenced". The vast majority of all age-groups - unsurprisingly - went for the safe middle option and claimed to be influenced by the media, but only to a reasonable degree.

  1. Moral Panic and media folk devils.

    Collects quantitative data that can be put into graphs. Does not give qualitative data so is not very detailed. Cheap and easy to organise. People often lie or do not wish to discuss some topics on them. People do not feel under pressure when answering them. People treat them as a joke and give stupid answers.

  2. The recent rise in support for religious sects comes mainly from an increased desire ...

    Members have usually been the victims of social deprivation or spiritual deprivation and seek a sense of community, Sects offer this and social status for members. Wilson believes that people join sects due to social change where norms are disrupted.

  1. Did the BATF and the FBI attempt to cover up agents conduct at the ...

    matter when the authorities reacted", so that actions taken on that fifty-first day were irrelevant. This view was developed in the trial of the Davidians in San Antonio, where prosecutors expounded on the "theology of death" integral to Koresh's beliefs.

  2. Outline and assess the view that the medias representation of ethnic minorities is becoming ...

    This moral panic caused widespread concern and fear amongst the white population, and thus would be a good example of how the mass media negatively stereotyped ethnic minorities in the past. Further evidence of the effects the media has on its audiences is shown in the study conducted by Hartman and Husband (1974).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work