Posted in A2 Sociology: Religion

A2 Beliefs: Further signs of secularisation?

Image result for desert island

Taken from The Guardian:

A new poll suggests that only 31% of people in the UK would like a copy of the Bible to take to a desert island. The Radio 4 programme’s imaginary castaways are given a Bible and the complete works of Shakespeare, along with their choice of eight pieces of music, another book and one luxury item.

Reflecting the increasing secularity and diversity of British society, the poll found that 56% of respondents would not choose to take a Bible, and another 13% were unsure. Fewer than one in three welcomed the inclusion of a Bible in their musical and literary accompaniments to a solitary existence. There was a noticeable generational difference: 18% of 18-to-24-year-olds would choose a Bible, compared with 39% of over-65s.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/15/desert-island-discs-bible-radio-4?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Email

 

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Posted in A2 Sociology: Religion, Uncategorized

A2 h.w

You need to think about the ways in which the three major belief systems, outlined by Comte, influence explanations of behaviour labelled as witchcraft. The components of the film below are seriously useful and very interesting. Watch them and use the ideas to fill in the boxes below.

  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvXl7k9U050
  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPjxoXSg1-g&feature=related
  3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XD-Ksu74M-s&feature=related
  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vwqyku03xnw&feature=related
  5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2QMUkP9ukI&feature=related
  6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wcRtq6ZwJA&feature=related
  7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2UcwfF6AiQ&feature=related
  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZA2LHb9Ndk8&feature=related

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Posted in A2 Sociology: Religion, Uncategorized

A2: Last minute exam tips

I have marked a few practice essays today and there are a few things that I think are worth focusing upon:

  • Introduction – try to give an overall picture of the debate; don’t just present the view of one side, very briefly outline what the range of views are.
  • Always plan your 18 and 33 mark responses – 2 mins plan for the 18 and 5 mins for 33 – this will allow you to link the arguments rather than listing information (which is what so many students do).
  • Try to link your paragraphs – the first sentence of the paragraph should link to the last and ideally, the title too.
  • When you are supporting a point with evidence, list a range of examples and then choose one or two to analyse in more detail. For example, if you were writing about fundamentalism you might write: The relatively new phenomenon of Islamic fundamentalism has occurred in a number of countries such as Iran, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. Within these societies there has been a significant movement to a strictly literal interpretation of Islam, one that is a closed belief system and punishes transgressions with often extreme punishment. In Iran, for example, since the 1979 revolution, the Shia regime has been seemingly intent on forcing its citizens to abide by their version of sharia law – anyone who fails to do so is at risk of arrest by the religious police. Moreover, the recent rise of Isis in some Middle Eastern countries signals that secularisation is not necessarily going to conquer the world instead Anthony Giddens and Steve Bruce argue that fundamentalism is a reaction to Westernization and perhaps this trend is likely to continue…
  • Remember that unlike other parts of the world, Europe underwent the age of enlightenment (which Sociology was part of) and this is often considered to be a primary reason why many European countries have experienced secularisation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment
  • You can refer to events in the past such as the medieval ages but do not dwell on these – focus on contemporary examples
  • Utilise a range of sociologists – if you are referring to postmodernism during A02 evaluation make sure you mention at least a couple of postmodernists and give an overview of their particular theory/research
  • Always try and give a balanced argument – cover all sides of the debate and then you can draw a conclusion based on your findings
  • Don’t write about ‘society’ always identify which specific society you are referring to.
  • Whilst it is good practice not to go into huge A01 detail, some of you are not giving enough of an explanation – make sure you explain the key ideas before moving onto A02a and A02b
  • Secularisation usually refers to a decline in religious influence and/or religiosity – it is very hard to argue that the UK has not experienced a decline even if you take Davie’s argument that the only change is that there is believing without belonging now (privatization) – census statistics from 2001 and 2011 and mori polls (https://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/2921/Religious-and-Social-Attitudes-of-UK-Christians-in-2011.aspx) for example do not support this.
  • However, Berger does make a strong case for secularisation being a myth in many places: http://www.firstthings.com/article/2008/02/002-secularization-falsified

 

Posted in A2 Sociology: Religion, Uncategorized

Y13 Exam Advice

Hi all,

Satvir sent me an essay to mark and he was happy to share it with you:

Functionalism Essay_Satvir

He also asked about what could be included in a fundamentalism answer, so here are my ideas:

definition of fundamentalism using Steve Bruce who identifies that there are two types of fundamentalism – the Western version (NCR in USA) which is a response to liberalisation and the post colonial response (Isis, Iran and Taliban).
An exploration of examples of fundamentalism – what are their features (sects or cults – deviant; closed belief systems; extreme; high commitment etc use Troeltch)? Compare to other forms of belief such as denominations, atheism or political ideology
discussion of why fundamentalism has occurred – apply Anthony Giddens, Stark and Bainbridge, Lyotard and Bruce (cultural defence, failure of science metanarrative and response to late/postmodernism)
– also compare to Comte’s predictions of a positive stage and Weber’s rationality (why hasn’t this occured?
– You could use functionalism, in particular, Talcott Parsons and also Norris and Engleheart to help explain that people often require security and a point to life
– also secularisation has conversely encouraged fundamentalism because the secular world allows freedoms which leave a vacuum for fundamentalism
– globalisation has also allowed fundamentalism to flourish – sharing ideas via social media etc. and it is easier to organise and mobilise
– from a Marxist perspective you could explore ideas that fundamentalism is the ultimate example of how the powerful utilise religion to socially control
– from a similar conflict perspective, feminists would also argue that fundamentalism often allows the tight regulation of women (no contraception, abortion etc in USA; stoning of women but not men for adultery in Afghanistan)
– a really good UK sociologist to use is Ramji who argues that Muslim men utilise Islam as an excuse to exploit women and often justify their patriarchal actions with religion
– another sociologist to use is Akhtar who argues that young Muslims have become radicalised by the political events in the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan…
The future – will fundamentalism increase or decline? Why?
Posted in A2 Sociology: Religion, Uncategorized

A2 beliefs – interesting article on ‘losing religion’

This article provides a nice contrast to the commonly held belief that Islam is increasing and it very much supports Tariq Modood’s (1997) assertion that Muslims from the second generation and onwards are more likely to lost their faith. However, it also demonstrates how much harder it is for many British Muslims to publicly turn their back on their religion, thus it supports Grace Davie’s belonging without believing thesis:

Losing their religion: the hidden crisis of faith among Britain’s young Muslims

As debate rages over the radicalisation of young British Muslims, are we overlooking a different crisis of faith? Ex-Muslims who dare to speak out are often cut off by their families and fear for their lives. A brave few tell us their stories:

http://www.theguardian.com/global/2015/may/17/losing-their-religion-british-ex-muslims-non-believers-hidden-crisis-faith