Religious participation

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  • Trends in religious participation
    • Ethnicity
      • Visible religious commitment is higher amongst minority ethnic groups
      • Reasons for this trend
        • Community and cohesion means that they can maintain their traditions
        • Socialisation reasons in a new country
          • Cultural transition
        • Allows a safe place to defend against hatred
          • Cultural defence
        • Provides a secure identity and can support those who are socially deprived
        • Pressures from family structures and religious socialisation is valued
    • Age
      • It is an ethnocentric view to state that older people are more religious
        • 22% of Christians are over 65
        • 88% of Muslims are aged 50 or under
      • Reasons for rise in older people
        • Disengagement - religion provides support for isolated and lonely individuals
        • Generation effect - older people are more likely to be religiously socialised in childhood
        • Ageing effect - due to illness and closeness to death older people are more likely to turn to religion for security and support with this.
      • Reasons for decline in youth
        • Privatisation of belief may mean that young people are still religious but not openly practicing
        • Expandied spiritual marketplace means that there is diverse beliefs to pick from
        • Decline in religious education and socialisation
        • Leisure is increasing
        • Religion has lesss attraction to young people and does not fit with their  attitudes
    • Gender
      • Women are more likely to be a part of religion in some way
        • Practice private prayer
        • Volunteer with the church
        • Have stronger personal faith
        • Attend more regularly
      • Reasons for female participation
        • Miller and Hoffman gender socialisation - they are expected attend church as this fits with their housewife and motherly role
        • Halman and Draulans gender roles - due to maternal instinct women are more likely to want rto control moral development and socialise religiously
        • Davie Visions of God - women see god as a loving figure  (feminine traits) whereas men associate God with control
        • Gender differences in life create higher challenges e.g childbirth
        • Longer life expectancy means that older women may use church as support for their loneliness
        • More vulnerability and awareness of sickness/death
      • Reasons for falling female attendance
        • Declining fertility rates means that the older women are not being replaced
        • Due to feminism, values and roles are changing
        • No time due to increased leisure and employment
        • Attitudes of the church do not fit with women e.g abortion, sexuality, gender roles
    • Class
      • The middle class have higher rates of church attendance than the lower class and there is higher participation in:
        • South of England
        • Rural areas
        • Areas with high performing church schools
      • Patterns of belief contradict the patterns of attendance which suggests belonging but not believing
      • Reasons for these trends
        • Marginalisation leads to joining WRM sects and fundamentalist groups
        • Spiritual deprivation leads to MC joining cults, WAffM and NAMs
        • When social change occurs sects and fundamentalist groups are joined
        • Theodicy of disprivilege  means WC will turn to beliefs which promise reincarnation e.g Hinduism


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