Secularization and themultidimensional concept of religiosity Raül Tormos & Lili Arroyo ISA World Congress 2010, Göteborg
Theoretical debate• The idea that the developed world is in a process of secularization still generates debate, but it is commonly accepted.• There are many empirical evidences that support it (see Norris&Inglehart 2004 among many others).• But how do we measure religiosity to be able to say it is eroding?• We argue that the theory of secularization should take into account a multidimensional concept of religiosity.• Secularization could be affecting the different dimensions of religiosity in different ways.• Conventional / institutional religiosity = eroding Personal / individual religiosity = ?
Theoretical debate• Different authors seem to point in this direction: (but systematic measurement efforts are hard to find) – Inglehart (1990) • Talks about a renewed emphasis on spiritual values in postindustrial societies. • Reflects on the perils of using just indicators of practices to measure the concept of religiosity.
Theoretical debate – Inglehart & Norris (2004), Sacred and Secular • In postindustrial societies people are becoming: – indifferent to traditional religious values, – but they are not abandoning private or individualized spirituality. • People are increasingly interested in the meaning and purpose of life. – When survival is uncertain need for security in religion – When survival is guaranteed need for meaning • At the same time in this countries, there is less support for: – Traditional religious authorities – Established religious practices
Theoretical debate – Pollack & Pickel (2007) • Link between individualization theory and secularization. • Modernization will produce a change in the forms of religion more than a decline in its social significance. • Traditional forms of religiosity will be replaced by more subjective ones: – detached from church, – individually chosen, – and syncretistic. • With the indicators they used, they concluded that the rise of individual religiosity cannot compensate for the loss of institutionalized religiosity.
Data and methodological strategies• Departing from here, we started with the idea of a cross-country over time comparison of religiosity indicators (individual level).• We wanted to question whether the secularization-thesis was really valid for the different dimensions of religiosity: • Religion as an institution – Religious impulse, or • Conventional religiosity – Individualized religiosity• But soon we realized we were facing a measurement problem: complicated concepts-by-postulation not clearly defined in the literature (religiosity, secularization).• Then we turned our attention to the measure of religiosity.• In the literature we found basically theoretically-driven measures and a lack of empirically-driven ones.• Main problem: finding good measures for our theoretical concepts in the available surveys.
Data and methodological strategies• We wanted to use an appropriate methodology for our measurement model Structural Equation Modeling.• Difficulties to fit our theory and data into a measurement model (SEM): – Inappropriate variables – Incomplete data (waves, gaps)• But as we believed in the existence of a two dimensional religiosity model, went on with the analysis.• And we did not want to proceed as in part of the literature: only theoretical definitions from which to construct more or less arbitrary indexes.• We use the 1st round of the ESS, Spanish subset.
Data and methodological strategies• Importance of religion in life (11 point scale)• Church attendance (7 point scale)• Frequency of praying (7 point scale)• Self-assessed religiosity (11 point scale)
Data and methodological strategies• Importance of religion in life (11 point scale) – Wording: “How important is religion in your life?” From 0 extremely unimportant to 10 extremely important. – It sits on a battery of items representing spheres of life (family, work, friends, etc.) – To Norris & Inglehart it is a religious value (ultimate goal). – Supposedly previous to religious beliefs and participation.
Data and methodological strategies• Church attendance (7 point scale) – Wording: “How often do you attend religious services apart from special occasions?” 1 Every day; 2 More than once a week; 3 Once a week; 4 At least once a month; 5 Only on special holy days; 6 less often; 7 never. – An institutional / communitarian form of religious participation. – Established by family bonds, habit and social environment, and not only by personal beliefs – It does not necessarily reflect the personal views of individuals.
Data and methodological strategies• Frequency of praying (7 point scale) – Wording: “How often do you pray apart from religious services?” 1 Every day; 2 More than once a week; 3 Once a week; 4 At least once a month; 5 Only on special holy days; 6 less often; 7 never – A personal / individual form of religious participation. – It is possible for people to pray even though he does not attend religious services.
Data and methodological strategies• Self-assessed religiosity (11 point scale) – Wording: “How religious are you?” From 0 not at all religious to 10 very religious – Subjective self-considerations which is not necessarily link to conventional religiosity (however conventional religious people would also consider themselves religious).
Data and methodological strategies• We wanted to test: – if these 4 indicators converge in a single latent variable of religiosity, – or to what extent we can talk of more than one dimension of religiosity?
Measurement model for religiosity(ESS 1rd, Spain) X1 X2 X3 X4 X1 1.00 X2 0.64 1.00Ɛ1 Importance of religion in life X3 0.59 0.61 1.00 y1=ŋ1 X4 0.63 0.67 0.72 1.00 β11Ɛ2 Frequency of Ɛ5 participation y2=ŋ2 β21 Religiosity ŋ5Ɛ3 Frequency of praying β31 y3=ŋ3Ɛ4 β41 Degree of religiosity y4=ŋ4 Latent Y model
Religiosity 1bdat ni=4 no=1800 ma=km Matrix of the disturbance terms:km No covariance1.00 between disturbances.64 1.00.59 .61 1.00 No. eta Variance/covariance (endogenous of latent variables.63 .67 .72 1.00 variables)labelsy1 y2 y3 y4model ne=5 ny=4 be=fu,fi ly=fu,fi te=di,fi ps=di,frva 1 ly 1 1 ly 2 2 ly 3 3 ly 4 4 Lambdas fixed to onefr be 1 5 be 2 5 be 3 5 be 4 5 There are lambdas and betasfi ps 5 5va 1 ps 5 5start .5 alloutput mr tv mi ss Fixed variance of latent Y
Complete measurement model for religiosity(ESS 1rd, Spain) 0.44 δ1 Importance of religion in life x1 0.75 δ2 0.38 Frequency of participation 0.79 x2 Religiosity 0.35 0.81 ξ1 δ3 Frequency of praying x3 0.86 δ4 0.25 Degree of religiosity x4 Df. = 2 Chi-Square’s p-value = 0.00
Measurement model with correlated errors X1 X2 X3 X4 X1 1.00 X2 0.64 1.00 δ1 Importance of religion in life X3 0.59 0.61 1.00δ21 x1 X4 0.63 0.67 0.72 1.00 λ11 δ2 Frequency of participation x2 λ21 Religiosity ξ1 δ3 Frequency of praying λ31 x3 δ4 λ41 Degree of religiosity x4
Religiosity 2dat ni=4 no=1800 ma=kmkm1.00.64 1.00.59 .61 1.00.63 .67 .72 1.00labelsy1 y2 y3 y4model ny=4 ne=1 ly=fu,fr te=sy,fi ps=fu,fifree te 1 1 te 2 2 te 3 3 te 4 4 Variance of disturbances setfree te 2 1 freeva 1 ps 1 1out mi Only the covariance between e1 and e2 is set free Set the disturbance of latent variable to one
Complete measurement with correlated errors 0.49 δ1 Importance of religion in life 0.10 x1 0.72 δ2 0.43 Frequency of participation 0.75 x2 Religiosity 0.34 0.81 ξ1 δ3 Frequency of praying x3 0.88 δ4 0.22 Degree of religiosity x4 Df. = 1 Chi-Square’s p-value = 0.24
• Correlated error terms: some of the covariation is due to sources different to the common factor (and not included in the model).• So we tried another model departing from the idea of the two dimensions of religiosity
ζ2 Ɛ4 Subjective λ42 Self-assessed religiosity religiosity ŋ2 y4Ɛ1 Importance of religion in life psi Ψ21 Ho = 1 Ha ≠ 1 y1 λ11 ζ1Ɛ2 Frequency of Conventional participation λ21 religiosity y2 ŋ1 λ31Ɛ3 Frequency of praying y3
• If self-assessed religiosity and our latent construct for religiosity not happen to be completely related, this would mean that there is something else that conventional indicators of religiosity are not covering.• We had the hypothesis that this “something else” is the religious impulse or the personal / individual side of religiosity.
Estimated via SQP ζ2 Ɛ4 Subjective λ42 Self-assessed religiosity religiosity ŋ2 y4Ɛ1 Importance of religion in life psi Ψ21 Ho = 1 Ha ≠ 1 y1 λ11 ζ1Ɛ2 Frequency of Conventional participation λ21 Religiosity y2 ŋ1 λ31Ɛ3 Frequency of This model was not praying fitting due to y3 correlated errors
ζ2 Ɛ4 Subjective λ42 Self-assessed religiosity religiosity ŋ2 y4Ɛ1 Importance of religion in life psi Ψ21 Ho = 1 Ha ≠ 1 y1 λ11 ζ1Ɛ2 Frequency of Conventional participation λ21 religiosity y2 ŋ1 λ31Ɛ3 Frequency of praying y3 The pattern of correlations among errors made us think of an alternative model specification
Theoretical model Ɛ3 Frequency of praying ζ2 λ32 y3 Subjective religiosity Ɛ4 ŋ2 λ42 Self-assessed religiosity y4 Ho = 1 psi Ψ21 Ɛ1 Ha ≠ 1 Importance of religion in life λ11 ζ1 y1 Conventional religiosity λ21 ŋ1 Ɛ2 Frequency of participation y2
Religiosity 4bdat ni=4 no=1800 ma=kmkm1.00.64 1.00.59 .61 1.00.63 .67 .72 1.00labelsy1 y2 y3 y4model ny=4 ne=2 ly=fu,fi te=sy,fi ps=sy,fifree ly 1 1 ly 2 1 ly 3 2 ly 4 2fre te 1 1 te 2 2 te 3 3 te 4 4va 1 ps 1 1 ps 2 2free ps 2 1out rs mi Set free the covariance between latent constructs
Results (Spain, ESS 1st round) Ɛ3 Frequency of praying 0.34 ζ2 λ32 =0.81 y3 Subjective religiosity Ɛ4 ŋ2 Self-assessed λ42=0.88 religiosity 0.32 y4 (psi) Ψ21= 0.92 0.39 Ɛ1 Importance of religion in life λ 11=0.78 ζ1 y1 Conventional religiosity 0.33 ŋ1 Ɛ2 Frequency of λ21=0.82 participation y2 Df. = 1 Chi-Square’s p-value = 0.24
Conclusions• From the Spanish data, two dimensions of religiosity emerge: – One related to traditional religious values and practices – The other is linked to the subjective and personal sphere• Although these two dimensions are highly correlated, they are not the same, as shown by our measurement model.• A conventional religious person would score high on the subjective religiosity dimension, but it is also possible for someone to have a personal sense of religiosity and be relatively detached from conventional religiosity.
Conclusions• The idea of two dimensions of religiosity is similar to Pollack and Pickel (2007) thesis of individualization.• However, as shown by their empirical analysis, the rise of individually religiosity cannot compensate for the losses of institutionalized religiosity.• Modernization produces: – Secularization (big part) – Individualization of religion (small part)• We still have to test it.