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Social groups Essay

Although some may argue that religiosity within our society is in decline , for many there is still a strong sense of community found within religion, and a basis for which they can live their lives, as it provides morals and values. It is clear that for some, religion proves to be one of the most important things to someone’s life, it is the thing that makes their identity. The Home Office Survey 2004 found that when asking to rank religion in relation to how important it was to your identity, the results varied greatly.

Religion was cited 10th by those of white ethnicities, but 3rd most important for those of black ethnicities. There are many reasons for this diverse response, as many people view the role of religion within their lives, and the impact it can have upon it differently. It is arguable that some people follow a religion as they feel that it provides them with a means of coping with transition and difficulties.

Weber claimed that religion appealed to the marginalised groups in society such as ethnic minorities, especially immigrants who feel that they are not accepted in the society they move into, religion therefore acting as a way to assimilate them into society. He also believed that religion deals with the problem of theodicy, and answers questions about underprivileges, illness and so on, which are more satisfying than non religious explanations. Johal (1998) claims that in a multi faith society such as the UK, religious identity has become of key importance to members of ethnic minorities.

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In relation to this, Bird 1999 agreed saying that for some Pentecostalism has provided African Caribbean’s with an ability to cope and adjust to a racist and unjust society. Beckford likewise suggested that evangelical Christianity gives Black people a sense of hope and independence. The religion they follow encourages hard work, sexual morality, prudent management of finances and strong support of family, all of which encourage self fulfilment and pride. However it can be argued that by helping people into society, that is all it is, help.

Bruce states that this is not someone expressing their religious belief; the actual practice of religious belief is what defines the religiosity of a person. Even though church attendance is falling however, this does not mean the religiosity of our society is too decreasing. Followers may choose to pray at home, as a such varied and diverse societies provides many time constraints on members, however this makes them no less religious. Infact in 1980, 42% of people said they belonged to a religion, which had not risen or fell when asked again in 1998.

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