Assess the Views That Secularisation Has Been a Feature Only of Modern European Societies. (33 Marks).

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Assess the views that secularisation has been a feature only of Modern European societies (33 marks). Secularisation refers to the decline in religious beliefs, practices, power and commitment. Depending on the definition of religion, it can be argued that Modern European societies have undergone a secularisation process. It is difficult to examine to a certain extent how religious people were before and how religious they are in today’s society. The view that secularisation has been a feature of only Modern European societies are arguable as there are many different types and definitions of religion, and also it does not take into account secularisation on a more global scale. The British Social Attitudes Survey in 1991 showed that while many people claim to believe in god, very few attended church in the UK. According to Bruce, the high point for British church attendance was between 1860 and 1910, when around 28% of the adult population were members. This figure shows that the apparent church attendance from these years was low, suggesting that secularisation was already taking place. However, it has already been identified that many people are still religious, they may just not have the time or level of commitment to attend churches or holy places to pray or worship. A advantage of using official statistics such as those from The British Attitudes Survey, is that they can be easily reached by sociologists and allow them to obtain date from large sample sizes that would be very difficult to do by one’s self. Official statistics are also readily available and relatively inexpensive, so researchers can afford to spend a greater amount of time and money analysing the data that has already been collected. The statistics from The British Social Attitudes Survey may show that secularisation is a feature of a Modern European society such as the UK,
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