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SociologyExchange.co.uk Shared Resource

  1. 1. <br /> <br /> <br />Name:<br />A2 Course Structure and Outline.<br />Unit 3SCLY3Beliefs in SocietyFebruary 2011 to May 2011A2 mock examsApril-May 2011.Live exams 15th June 2011Wednesday pm1 hour 30 min Unit 4Crime & DevianceSociological Theory & MethodsA2 mock exams20th June 2011Monday am 2 hoursUnit 3 ~ 20% of A levelWritten exam 1hr 30minsUnit 4 ~ 30% of A LevelWritten exam 2 hours<br />The specification:<br />The relationship between religious beliefs and social change and stability<br /><ul><li>Functionalism: conservative force, inhibition of change, collective conscience,
  2. 2. Durkheim and totemism, anomie; civil religions
  3. 3. Marxism: religion as ideology, legitimating social inequality, disguising exploitation
  4. 4. Etc
  5. 5. Weber: religion as a force for social change: theodicy’s, the Protestant ethic
  6. 6. Neo-Marxism: religion used by those opposing the ruling class, liberation theology
  7. 7. Feminism: religious beliefs supporting patriarchy
  8. 8. Fundamentalist beliefs: rejecting change by reverting to supposed traditional
  9. 9. Values and practices.
  10. 10. Religious organisations, including cults, sects, denominations, churches and New Age movements, and their relationship to religious and spiritual belief and PracticeTypologies of religious organisations: churches, denominations, sects and cults,With examples of each New Religious Movements and typologies of NRMs eg worldRejecting/accommodating/affirming; millenarian beliefs, with examples of eachNew Age movements and spirituality, with examplesThe relationship of these organisations to religious and spiritual belief andPractice.The relationship between different social groups and religious/spiritualOrganisations and movements, beliefs and practicesReasons why people join NRMs, NAMs and other organisationsGender and religion: women: women’s greater participation, women in religiousOrganisations including NRMs; men’s participation and organisational roles inReligions; sexuality and religion; images of gender in religionsEthnicity and religion: religion and ethnic identity; religion in migrant communities;Religions and minority ethnic groups in the UK todayAge and religion: religious participation and belief by age group; religiousSocialisationSocial class and religion: religious participation and belief by social class</li></ul>The significance of religion and religiosity in the contemporary world, including<br />The nature and extent of secularisation in a global context<br /><ul><li>Globalisation and belief systems, including fundamentalism
  11. 11. Post modernity: end of meta-narratives, ‘spiritual shopping’
  12. 12. Secularisation: problems of definition and measurement; aspects of secularisationSuch as disengagement, rationalisation, rise of pluralism/diversity, desacralisation,Disenchantment, individuationArguments and evidence for and against secularisation e.g. attendance andMembership; believing without belonging; the secularisation cycle theory andCompensators (Stark and Bainbridge); UK compared with other countries (e.g.USA) and global significance of religion today.</li></ul>We are going to be looking at religious organisation 1st <br /> New Religious Movements and typologies of NRMseg worldrejecting/accommodating/ affirming; millenarian beliefs, with examples of each.Typologies of religious organisations: churches, denominations, sects and cults,with examples of each. <br /> The relationship of these organisations to religious and spiritual belief and practice. New Age movements and spirituality, with examples.<br /> Gender,ethnicty,class ,age and religion: religious participation and belief by gender,ethnicty,class & ageWe will be looking at this later on the course Reasons why people join NRMs, NAMs and other organisations.<br />Religious Organisations<br />Sociologists have used number of terms to identify key social organisations of religion: <br /> Church, Denomination, Sect and Cult<br />There have been a number of attempts to categorize the different types of religious organisations, but no system fits perfectly the enormous variety of organisations that have existed throughout the world. Nevertheless, it is possible broadly to distinguish some main types of religious organisations. <br />Pages 422 (Haralambous & Holborn)Pages 49 AQA A2 Sociology textbook <br />Church<br />He was the first to distinguish between different religious organisations – influenced by Weber Ernst Troeltsch<br /> Pages 422-423<br />He questions the usefulness of the definition of the church that Troeltsch comes up withSteve Bruce <br />DENOMINATION<br />Pages 423 (Haralambous & Holborn)Pages 49 AQA A2 Sociology textbook<br />Niebhur was the first sociologists to differentiate denomination from church H.R.Niebuhr<br />CHURCHDENOMINATIONSimilaritiesDifferences<br />SECTS& CULTS<br />Pages 424-425 (Haralambous & Holborn)Pages 49 AQA A2 Sociology textbook<br />Troeltsch was the first to distinguish between religious organisation starting of with church which you looked at above, the second was sect. He argues that sects have characteristics that are opposite to churches Ernst Troeltsch<br />How does Bruce define cults?Steve Bruce <br />3432175920750The Cult <br />http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/waco/<br />The media use of the term sect has become interchangeable with the word cult. Sensational reporting of such events as the Waco siege in Texas have meant that the term 'cult' has become loaded with negative connotations<br />Jonestown 1978 - scene of mass suicide see John for video on thishttp://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~remoore/jonestown/index.html<br />00<br />SECTSCULTSSimilaritiesDifferences<br />Typology of religious organisations<br />ChurchDenominationSectCultStructureOrganisationRelationship with secular societyRelationship with membersNew membersTime Scale Social background of members<br />Examples (4 of each)<br />Similarities &Differences<br />left355600New Religious movements, Sects & Cults<br />Pages 425-428 (Haralambous & Holborn)Page 50 AQA A2 Sociology textbook<br /> <br /> <br />How does Eileen Barker attempt to classify new religious movement (new religious movement means the same thing as sects and cults or so it is used as to mean that)<br /> <br /> <br />Roy Wallis – The elementary forms of the new religious life<br /> <br />Rejection of the worldAccommodation of the world<br />New Religious Movements (NRM's)<br />Wallis 1984Argues that the last 30 years in the USA and Europe have witnessed a rapid growth in NRM's. This appears to be going hand in hand with the decline in established churches, suggesting that beliefs are not so much declining as changing<br />Wallis 1984 - 3 types of NRM <br /><ul><li>World Accommodating</li></ul>2. World-rejecting movements <br />3. World Affirming Religions<br />The Middle ground – Wallis realizes that no religious group will conform to the categories he outlines. <br />Evaluation <br />Rodney Stark and Sims Bainbridge 1985- Un – Ideal types <br />Pages 428-429 (Haralambous & Holborn)Pages 50-51 AQA A2 Sociology textbooklefttop<br />Argue that sects are offshoots of existing religions and cults involve innovation and importing ideas from other religions<br />They classify cults into 3 types<br />1. Audience Cults<br />2. Client Cults<br />3. Cult Movements<br />Problems with this classification<br />1.<br />2.<br />Both church and sect claim that they have the unique, true message - but the church is seen as legitimate (even by non-believers), the sect is seen as deviant.Cult and denomination recognise a variety of beliefs - but again one is seen as legit (denomination) and one is seen as deviant (cult)<br />Reasons for the growth sects,cults and new religious movements<br />Pages 420-430 (Haralambous & Holborn)Pages 50-51 AQA A2 Sociology textbook457200107950<br />Relative Deprivation Marginality<br />Explanations for the growth of religious movements <br />Social Change The growth of new religious movements <br />Pages 431-432 (Haralambous & Holborn)Pages 52-53 AQA A2 Sociology textbookleft330200The Development of sects<br />Sects as short-lived organisations <br />The life cycle of sects <br />Internal ideology and the wider society <br />Other <br />Pages 432-435 (Haralambous & Holborn)Pages 54 AQA A2 Sociology textbook-571500<br />The themes of the new age Examples of the new age The New Age<br />The appeal of the new age Variations within the new age <br />Conclusion <br />Questions that could be asked on this<br />Data questions and short essays<br />Read Item A below and answer parts (a) and (b) which follow.<br />Item A<br />Society has changed significantly over the past century and it has often been noted that there has been a drift away from mainstream religious organisations. Many people now feel that their religious needs can no longer be met through the more conventional forms of religious organisation, such as the traditional churches and denominations. In such cases, it is not unusual for people to be attracted by different and new approaches to worship and belief offered by sects and cults.<br />To help clarify our understanding of these newer religious organisations, Wallis developed a classification of what he called New Religious Movements that divided them into world-affirming, world-accommodating and world-rejecting religions. In such organisations, participation and membership are often significantly different from mainstream religions. Many people fear that New Religious Movements have too great a hold over their members, but evidence shows that in reality the turnover in membership is very high.<br />(a) Identify and briefly explain some of the reasons why New Religious Movements have such a high turnover of members. (9 marks)<br />Identify and briefly explain some of the characteristic features of sects, apart from those referred to in Item A. (9 marks)<br />Identify and briefly explain three reasons why some individuals may choose to join religious sects or cults 6 marks <br />Example exam 33 mark questions <br /> Assess the view that cults, sects and New Age movements are fringe organisations that are inevitably short-lived and of little influence in contemporary society. (33 marks)<br />The growth of the new religious movements and the new age beliefs since the 1960s indicates a revival of religion. Discuss 33 marks <br />Assess sociological explanations for the increasing number of religious and spiritual organisations and movements in society 33 marks <br />January 2010 <br />1 Read Item A below and answer parts (a) and (b) that follow.<br />Item A<br />Traditional religious organisations have faced many challenges over the past thirty<br />years. In the past, their infl uence in society was considerable and they were seen<br />as the mainstream spiritual movements. Some sociologists argue that most people<br />participated in such organisations, even if only to reinforce their social status. These<br />organisations also had substantial political power and infl uence.<br />However, changes in society over the past few decades have presented considerable<br />challenges to the traditional roles and status of these organisations. Similarly, some<br />sociologists argue that many people have reassessed their personal commitment to<br />traditional religious organisations. As a result, such organisations have lost both<br />support and membership.<br />(a) Identify and briefly explain three reasons why traditional religious organisations may<br />have lost support and/or membership over the past thirty years, apart from that referred<br />to in Item A. (9 marks)<br />(b) Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the view that most people today see<br />spirituality and religious belief as purely private and personal matters. (18 marks)<br />

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