‘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?

Topics: Religion, Faith, Philosophy of religion Pages: 4 (1256 words) Published: January 12, 2013
‘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. Davie suggests that these factors give women a closer association with birth and death than men, and these are also central issues for many religions. They make women more aware of the helplessness of human life, and more familiar to the spiritual dimensions for human existence. Women are also more likely to turn to religion as a result of feeling deprived; they are more likely to experience poverty, family problems, less self confidence and less power. This means they turn to religion for comfort, particularly in religious sects and new religious movements which provide theodicies explaining their feelings, as well as solutions and support. Status frustration may be experienced by some women, who lack personal fulfilment or status as a result of...
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