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Lecture 6

SOCA02- Lecture 6.docx

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Sheldon Ungar

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SOCA02- Lecture 6 - foci: individual and group differences in religiosity, individual and social causes and consequences of religiosity, religious organizations - \substantive definition: system of beliefs with a supernatural referent, and rituals associated with those beliefs - civil religion: system of attitudes with a social or political referent, and rituals associated with those attitudes - functional definition: social solidarity (Bellah) - Beaman focuses on privileged position of religion in comparison to other cultural phenomena, based on:  religious organizations' access to political power (pre-modern and modern societies)  cultural distinction between sacred and profane (pre-modern and modern societies)  legal protection of religious freedom (modern societies) - religiosity: importance of religion to an individual; measured by 4 dimensions: belief, practice, experience (divine influence), knowledge - religiosity of Canadians (Bibby):  believe in God- 80%  maintain that there is life after death- 70%  pray privately at least once/month-60%  think they have experienced God- 50%  committed to a religion- 50%  have basic religious knowledge- 40% - individual causes of religiosity:  reflection: religious commitment develops in people who seek to give meaning to their lives; many Canadians who think about the "big questions" are not religious and seek meaning in philosophy or social activism  socialization: most regular attendants attended religious services as children; 1/3 of Canadians whose parents attended are themselves attending  deprivation: religion as compensation (Marx; working people); in Canada, no strong relationship between class/SES/education and religious commitment, strong relationship between gender, age, and religious commitment, workforce participation negatively associated with religious commitment - measures of secularization:  participation in organized religion  institutional importance of religion  individual religiosity - social causes of religiosity in modern societies:  secularization thesis: level of religious commitment declines with industrialization because religious explanations are replaced by rationalism and scientific knowledge  persistence thesis: religion persists because it responds to widespread spiritual needs  revised secularization thesis: for majority, influence of religion is declining and restricted to few areas of life (spirituality, rites of passag
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