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

The relationship between religious beliefs, religious organisations and social groups is complex and diverse. Different groups have different needs and priorities. To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence support this view?

Extracts from this document...


?The relationship between religious beliefs, religious organisations and social groups is complex and diverse. Different groups have different needs and priorities.? To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence support this view? Statistics show that women have a greater participation rate in religious organisations than men. Women are more likely to express a greater interest in religion, to have a stronger personal faith and believe in life after death. They are more likely to involve themselves in religious rituals and worship, for example, attend religious services and lead a more religious life generally. There are many sociological explanations as to why women are more religious than men. Firstly, Miller and Hoffmann suggest that gender socialization means females are brought up to be more compliant, obedient and nurturing than males. They state that women are more involved with feelings, co-operation and caring for others. However, Walter and Davie see women as more exposed than men, to the ups and downs and changes of life. This is because of their biological involvement through childbirth, and through their greater participation in paid caring jobs, for example as teachers, nurses, social workers. ...read more.


According to feminists there are countless example of patriarchy which have been used to control and later oppress women. Places of worship show this as they often segregate the sexes. An example of this is the Jewish synagogue in which women are placed behind screens separate from the men who in turn are situated in the main centre space. This highlights the marginalisation between the men and women. Although there are some rising female readers of religion, scriptures were first and foremost written and interpreted by men and it is men that are the head of the churches in Islam and Catholicism. This could mean that many values and ideologies such as wearing the Burka, beatings, female circumcision and bans on contraception may have been misinterpreted for men?s gain and passed on through generation to generation. May religious women are still not permitted to become priests or are only allowed to work themselves up to a certain level before they hit a religious ?glass ceiling?, identifying where they want to be, but not being able to reach it due to the constraints set upon them. On the other hand, there are views to suggest that women are no longer oppressed in religion. ...read more.


Lynch suggests that young people may be running away from conventional ideas of religion as they can now go ?spiritual shopping?. This involves an increasing exposure and accessibility to a diversity range of religious and spiritual ideas. This has encouraged new ways of exploring religion and spirituality. Young people may be choosing to take of their religion, of whatever faith or mix of beliefs, as a private matter. Davie expressed this in the words ?believing without belonging?. This is where individuals may have a belief in something, however they do not chose to practice this belief. Secular spirituality and the sacred, Lynch suggested that young people may not have lost all religiosity , but that is simply finding new forms, many of which are associated more with the secular and non-religious world than with religious as it is currently understood by most people. Pragmatic reasons also mean there are a range of possible more practical or pragmatic explanations for the decline of religious belief and commitment amongst young individuals. Leisure activities have become a much bigger part of life, and shops and pubs all open for very long hours, including Sundays. Young people have more demands on their time and they may simply have more interesting ad enjoyable things to do. ...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 Sociological Differentiation & Stratification 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 Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Evaluate Sociological Explanations of the Relationship between Religion & Social Change

    4 star(s)

    This drove the members to achieve their optimum as a level of success was relative to that of belief; the more successful the more likely you were destined to go to Heaven. Weber argues this fundamental belief and the fact rich people could not enter the kingdom of heaven led

  2. Asses sociological explanations for the increasing number of religions & spiritual organisations and movements ...

    They normally tolerate other religions, and they try to attract people mostly from the middle class through the media. Examples of these types of movements are the New Age and the Church of Scientology. These movements are vastly increasing. There can be various reasons which may lead to this growth.

  1. Evaluate sociological explanations of the relationship between gender and religious belief and practice.

    Durkheim sees religion not only as the source of social solidarity, but also our intellectual capacities. This suggests that for Durkheim, religion is the origin of human thoughts, reason and science. In contrast, Durkheim's functionalist approach has been hugely criticised by postmodernists for example who argue that, Durkheim's ideas cannot

  2. Assess the view that cults, sects and new age movement are fringe organisations that ...

    They must constantly adapt there products with new upcoming spiritual groups that are entering the market meaning many religious groups either die out or just conform back in to modern societies traditional ways. If these groups are trying to appeal to modern society then they can be said not to

  1. Assess the view that religious beliefs and practices are changing to reflect a new ...

    One example of this is evangelical movements. Because of these trends, religion doesn?t act as the source of collective identity that it once did. Hervieu-Leger does note however that religion does continue to have some influence on society?s values like the values of equality and human rights have their roots in religion.

  2. Assess the reasons why young people seem to participate in religious activity less than ...

    It is argued that young people may find the concept of religion unattractive because they don?t get anything out it and the services could be seen as old-fashioned, repetitive and boring from their point of view. Similarly, there are practical reasons why the younger generation participate less in religious activities, as younger people would prefer to do other things.

  1. Biological and Social Constructionist explanations of Gender development

    However many argue that Dr. Moneys study again showed that nature or biology influences our gender identity. A follow up study on David Reimer by Milton Diamond (1982) concluded that people?s biology largely determines their gender and criticised Dr. Money?s early study as being misleading as Brenda (David)

  2. Claims that the UK is now a secular society are wrong. Both religious activity ...

    by renewing people?s beliefs, this keeps them believing and therefore will mean religion will not die out. Functionalists such as Parsons argue that we need religion in order to have core values and for people to make sense of their lives.

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