A2 Sociology - Beliefs

Mind Map by hannahvullo, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by hannahvullo about 5 years ago


AS Sociology Mind Map on A2 Sociology - Beliefs, created by hannahvullo on 02/11/2015.

Resource summary

A2 Sociology - Beliefs
1 Theories
1.1 Substantive definitions - these attempts to explain what religion is
1.2 Functional defitions - define religion in terms of its uses and purposes for individuals and societies
1.3 Polythetic Defitions - these define religion by creating a list of possible characterisitics that make up a religion but accept that no one example will share them all
1.4 Functionalism
1.4.1 Religion plays an important role in creating and maintaining vlaue consensues, order and solidarity
1.4.2 The Sacred: DURKHEIM believes religion is not about a belief in GOD, spirits or the supernatural rather the things that are powerful
1.4.3 Sacred symbols represent societies collective conscience - shared norms,values, beliefs and knowledge that bring society together (social solidarity/intergration
1.4.4 Cogitive functions of religions: helping people to reason and think conceptually
1.4.5 CRITISMS - cannot be applied to large-scale societies where is more than one relgion, Postmodenist argues does not apply to multicultural diverse societies, ignore conflicts
1.4.6 MALINOWSKI: religion provides psychological functions for individuals, heling them cope with emotional stress Helps when the outcome is important but uncontrollable and uncertain At times of life crisis
1.4.7 PARSONS: helps indivudals cope with unforeseen events and uncontrollable outcomes
1.4.8 CIvil Religion BELLAH; notes the religion unfies society, even a multi-faith society. Civil religion is a belief society that attaches sacred wualities to society Civil relgion in america is expreseed in various rituals, symbols and beliefs such as the national anthem
1.4.9 Evaluation Emphasis the postive functions ignoes negative aspects ignore the idea that religion is a source of oppression to women or poor ignore religion as source of conflict and division
1.5 Marxism
1.5.1 In a classless society there would be no need for religion
1.5.2 Ideology and False Consciousness MARX - religion provide ideology to distort people perception of reality in way the serve the interests of the ruling class helps the poor accept their postion by providing flase conciousness
1.5.3 Evaluation ignore postive functions religion performs NEO- Marxists see some form of religion as assisting the development of class consciousness, not hindering Feminist would argue that the main source of oppression in religion is for women
1.6 Feminists
1.6.1 Places of Worsip Some places of worship segregate the sexes - favouring the man For Example - In Islamic mosques, women are seating at the back behind screens, while men occupy the central and more sacred seats Womens participation may be restricted For Example: not being allowed to preach or read sacred texts, inlcuding taboos regarding menstruating such as not being able to touch the Qur'an when menstruating
1.6.2 Religious Organisations Religion is a patriachal institution and religious functions legitmate female subordination Religious organisation are male dominated with males at high postion of authority in the hierarchical structure For example: In Judaism and Catholicism - women are forbiden to become priests - KAREN ARMSTRONG - Clear evidence of marginalisation
1.6.3 Sacred Texts Sacred texts largely focus on the doings of men - male gods, prophets They are usually written and interpreted by men
1.6.4 Religious laws Many religious laws generally give women fewer rights then men For Example: marriage laws (how many spuses then marry, denied access to divorce decision making, dress codes (Islamic women must not show their faces, exploitation) Many religious also legitmate the traditional domestic and reproductive role of the women For Example: the Catholic church bans contraception and abortion
1.6.5 Religion in the past ARMSTRONG argues that in early religious, women were often placed at the centre of the religious beliefs For Example - mother goddesses and female priests were found throughout the Middle East until around 6000 years ago EL SAADAWI see the rise of monotheism as legitating the power of men over women. However relgious is used as source of oppression, it is not the direct cause of women's subordination For Example - ment interpret the relgious beilefs in a way that favours patriarchy which exists in society
1.6.6 WOODHEAD; criticies feminst explanations for ignoring the fact that not all religions are patriarchal, she argues that there are many forms of 'religous feminism' - ways in which women use religon to gain greater freedom and respect For Example; WOODHEAD argues that some muslim chosse to wear the hijab to escape a judgemental and materialsitc society - hijab is seen as liberating and as symbol
1.6.7 For Example: evangelical churches hold the beilef that men should respect women, giving women more power to influence men's behaviour.
1.6.8 Evaluation Functionalists argue religion does not favour men over women and instead creates solidarity, uniting all members Marxists focues too much on oppression of women than the poor
1.7 Religion as a Conservative force
1.7.1 It is tradional - society should be organised a certain way
1.7.2 It functions to preserve things how they are - stablising society
1.7.3 Many oppose changes that would allow individuals more freedom in personal and sexual matter For Example: the catholic church forbids divorce, contraception and abortion. It opposes gay marriage and condemns homosexuality
1.7.4 Relgions upholds and instills 'family values' favouring a traditional patriacrchal domestic division of labour and male domestic authority For Example: The Christian vows for the bride include the word 'obey', the grooms vows do not
2 Social Change
2.1 WEBER: demonstrates that religion can contribute to social change, using the example of the Calvinists protestant ethic that drove capitalism
2.1.1 Calvinists are a group of Catholics who follow a this-worldly ascetic lifestyle and have what is known to be 'the protestant ethic' - working hard but shunning all luxuries
2.1.2 Evaluation of Weber - Marxists have criticised for placing too mcuh focus on religion. KAUTSKY argues that he underestimates economic factors in brining about capitalism
2.2 The American Civil Rights Movements
2.2.1 BRUCE describes the struggle of the black civil rights movement of the 1950's as an example of religiously motivated social change
2.2.2 Rosa Parks - civil rights activists
2.2.3 BRUCE argues that they were ablie to influence whites into changing the law by appealing to their shared Christian values of equality
2.2.4 BRUCE believes religious organisations are well equipped to deal with social change Black Clergy pointed out the hypocrisy of white leargy who preached 'love thy neighbour' but supported racial segregation
2.3 The New Christian Right Movement
2.3.1 Political Protestant Fundamentalist movement
2.3.2 Aim to take America 'back to god', back to the fundamentals wish to illegalise abortion, homosexuality and divorce campaign for the teaching of creationism & to ban sex education BRUCE suggest the main reason the NCR movement failed and the Civil rights movements didnt is the fact they failed to connect with the mainstream beiliefs about democracy, equality and religious freedom
3 Secularisation
3.1 the process whereby religious beilefs, practices and institutions lose significance
3.2 overall stedy decline which led to some sociologist to suggest there was a 'golden age' of religiosity
3.3 Church attendence has fallen from 40% in the 19th century to 10-15%by the 1960s and futhur 6% in 2005
3.4 An Increse in the average age of the churchgoers
3.5 Fewer marriages 2006 1/3, 1971 3/5
3.6 Decline in the number holding traditional Christian beliefs
3.7 Greater religious diversity
3.8 Explanations
3.8.1 Rationalism For Example: Martin Luthur King JR started the process of rationalisation, changing the 'magical' worldview of religion to a 'disenchantment' view Technological, Scientific Explanations
3.8.2 PARSONS: Structural Differentiation the process of specialisation that occurs with the development of industrial society For Example: the church has lost its influence it once had on education, social welfare and the law BRUCE argues that religion has lost many of its former functions. He argues that religion has become 'privatisied'
3.8.3 Social and Cultural Diversity Industrialisation
3.8.4 Religious Diversity
3.9 Evaluation
3.9.1 Postmodernist argue that religion is not declining but simply changing
3.9.2 Focusing on church attendance ignores the fact that people may beilieve but not practice in church
3.9.3 Secularisation is not universal; religion has not declined everywhere, and not for all religious groups.There is no overall declining trends
3.9.4 Religion may not be necessarily declining just changing how it is practised, for example throught the media
3.9.5 STARK AND BAINBRIDGE (religious market theory) would argue that diveristy does not lead to a decline in relgion; it leads to an increase in religions
3.9.6 In India, despite a rise in scientific and technological thiking, there has been an increase in religious partcipation
4 Gender, Ethinicity & Youth
5 Postmodernism (DAVIE)
5.1 Believing Without Belonging
5.1.1 Personal choice to attend church
5.1.2 Hold beilefs dont attend church
5.2 Vicarius Religions
5.2.1 people practise religion from a second glance - similar to audience cults; clergy practise on behalf of a wider audience
5.2.2 Critisms BRUCE argues that the fact people aren't willing to invest time in religion only reflects their declining strength of their beliefs
5.2.3 many people still use the church for religious rituals and support, showing their commitment
5.3 Spiritual Shopping
5.3.1 HERVIEU-LEGER argues traditional religion may be declining, but there is a rise in new religions and spiritual shopping
5.3.2 cultural amnesia - lost collective memory of traditional religion
5.3.3 religion has faded away from everyday life leading to a increase in personal choise - individual consumerism
5.3.4 Pilgrims - follow an individual path in search for self-discovery, for example new age movements or spiritual therapy
5.3.5 Converts - join religious groups that offer a strong sense of belonging, usually based on a shared ethnic background or religion
5.4 Globalisation: LYON
5.4.1 increased importance of media and communications, and the growth of consumerism
5.5 Religious consumerism
5.5.1 where people have become religious consumers making personal choices on which elements of religon suits them
6 Religious Market Theory
6.1 STARK AND BAINBRIDGE argue that religion only declines where is a lack of a religious market;if there is suffcient supply, there will always be a demand for religion
6.2 human nature to seek rewards and avoid costs
6.3 religions operate like corporations, selling goods in a market
6.4 Supply-led religion
6.4.1 consumers can find a religion that meets their needs. Therefore there is a religious monopoly
6.4.2 Europe the situation is different - England is dominated by a state church - The Church of England
6.4.3 For this reason, the lack of competition and choice has led to a decline
6.5 Evaluation
6.5.1 BRUCE rejects the view that diversity and competition increase demand for religion, he notes that statistics show that diversity has been accompanied by religious decline in Europe and the USA
7 Existential Security Theory
7.1 the feeling that survival is secure enough that it can be taken for granted
7.2 NORRIS AND INGLEHART argues that the reason for viriations in religion between societies is due to different degrees in existential security. They believe that the main function of religion is to provide security and therefore societies where people feel secure will have a low demand for religion
7.3 Wealth and religiosity
7.3.1 People face life threatening risks (e.g.famine) and have high levels of insecuirty and therefore high levels of religiosity
7.4 In Western Europe - the trend is towards secularisation
7.5 US remains much more religious
7.5.1 America is a very unequal rich societies with inadequate welfare safety net and individualistic values
7.6 Evaluation
7.6.1 Interactionist would argue that qualitative data would explore this better than quantitative data on income
8 Globalisation
8.1 Religious Fundamentalism
8.1.1 They beleive unquestioningly in the literal turth of the sacred script and follw it in all aspects of life
8.1.2 They are intolerant of other beliefs and tend to avoid contact with those who think differently
8.2 Cosmpolitanists
8.2.1 Tolerant of others and open to new ideas
8.2.2 These are people who jusify their views by rational arguments and evidence, rather than sacred texts and traditions
8.3 BAUMAN sees fundamentalism as a response to living in postmodenity, as fundamentalism offers the certainity and security in an insecure, changing postmoden society
8.4 CASTELL argues the fundamenalist take a resistant identity response towards postmodenity as they take a defensice reaction to the percieved threat of change and retreat into fundamentalist communities
8.5 Cultural Defence
8.5.1 where religion serves to unite a community against an external threat
9 Types of religious organisations
9.1 Churches
9.1.1 Large Organisation with millions of member (e.g. Catholic Church)
9.1.2 Run by a hierarchy of priests
9.1.3 Universalistic, include the whole of society
9.1.4 Often appeal to upper classess because they are linked to the state
9.1.5 Place few demands on their members
9.1.6 Claim a religious monopoly of the truth
9.2 Sects
9.2.1 Small, exclusive groups
9.2.2 Break away from churches (Often due to disagreements)
9.2.3 Hostile to wider society
9.2.4 Expect high levels of commitment
9.2.5 Often appeal to poor and oppressed
9.2.6 Led by charismatic leader
9.2.7 Believe they hold religious monopoly of truth
9.3 Denominations
9.3.1 Do not expect a high level of commitment
9.3.2 Often fairly large organisations
9.3.3 Impose few demands on members
9.3.4 Don't appeal to the whole society (Methodism)
9.3.5 Tolerant of other organisations
9.3.6 Not Linked with the state
9.3.7 Do not claim a religious monopoly of the truth
9.4 Cults
9.4.1 Highly individualistic
9.4.2 Group around shared themes and interests
9.4.3 Often without an exclusive belief system
9.4.4 Usually led by 'Therapists' who claim special knowledge
9.4.5 Tolerant of other beliefs
9.4.6 Do not demand strong commitment
9.4.7 Often world-affirming
9.4.8 New Relgions
9.5 STARK AND BAINBRIDGE argues that sects and cults are in conflict with society
9.5.1 Identify 3 types of cults Audience Cults: Least organised, does not involve membership or commitment, Little interaction between members, particpation may be throught the media, For Example - astrology Client Cults: Based on the relationship between a consultant and a client, provide service to the followers, place emphasis on 'therapies' promising personal fulfilment and self-discovery, For Example - Spiritualism Cultic Movements: Most organised, demand high level of commitment, Aims to meet religious needs of all members, Cultic movements often strive to attract members, Often try to gain public attention, For example - Doomsday cults
10 New Religious Movements
10.1 World - rejecting NRMs
10.1.1 Similar to sects
10.1.2 Clearly religious organisations with a clear notion of GOD
10.1.3 They are highly critical of the outside world and seek radical change
10.1.4 Members are expected to break away from their life
10.1.5 The movement live communally, with restricted contract from the outside world
10.1.6 They often have conservative moral codes
10.1.7 They can vary in size
10.1.8 For Example - Branch Dacidians and Moonies
10.2 World - Accommodating NRMS
10.2.1 Often break away from exisitng churches or denominations
10.2.2 They neither accept or reject the world
10.2.3 Focus on other-wordly matter rather than this - worldly matters
10.2.4 Seek to restore the spirtual purity of religion
10.2.5 Members tend to lead traditional lives
10.2.6 For Example - Neo-Penrecostalist - split from Catholicism as they want to restore the Holy Spirit
10.3 World - Affirming NRMS
10.3.1 Accept the world as it is
10.3.2 Promise followers success in terms of mainstream goals and values (e.g.careers and relationship)
10.3.3 Non - exclusive and tolerant of other religions
10.3.4 Offer this-wordly gratification
10.3.5 Claim to offer specialist knowledge to enable followers to unlock spiritual powers and achieve success
10.3.6 Entry to the religion is often through training
10.3.7 Place few demands on members
10.3.8 Often lack tradtional features of religion, such as collective worship
10.3.9 For Example - Scientology
10.4 The New Age Movement
10.4.1 Self-sprituality: look inside themselves to discover it
10.4.2 Detradionalisation: The New Age rejects the spirital authority of tradional soucres such as priests or sacred texts and instead values personal experience, believing that we can discover the truth for ourselves
10.4.3 Loosely organised, no structure, audience or client cults
10.4.4 No leadership or sacred texts
10.4.5 Emphasis on environment
10.4.6 Individualistic
10.4.7 Little commitment, anybody can join and choose own commitment
10.5 STARK AND BAINBRIDGE argue that it is the relatively deprived who break away from churches to form sects
Show full summary Hide full summary


Sociology: Crime and Deviance Flash cards
Beth Morley
Sociology - Crime and Deviance - Feminists
Functionalist Theory of Crime
The Functionalist perspective on education
Phoebe Fletcher
Realist Theories
Sociology for the MCAT
Sarah Egan
Research Methods
cheyenne warwick
Ethnicity, Crime & Justice
Sociology Key Words
Theories of Family
Summer Pearce