Category Archives: Sociological concepts

Types of Religious Organisation: The Sect

According to Troeltsch, the Sect is basically the opposite of The Church…. Key characteristics of sects according to Troeltsch… They have significantly smaller memberships than churches The membership base of sects is drawn from the lower social classes Sects are … Continue reading

Posted in Religion, religious organisations, Sociological concepts | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Types of Religious Organisation: The Denomination

H.R. Niebuhr (1929) was the first sociologist to distinguish between a church and a denomination. His distinction was based on a study of religion in the U.S.A. Denominations share some, but not all of the features of churches. Examples of … Continue reading

Posted in Religion, religious organisations, Sociological concepts | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Types of Religious Organisation: The Church

Ernst Troeltsch (1931) used the term ‘church’ to refer to a large, hierarchically organised¬† religious institutions with an inclusive, universal membership, typically with close links to the state. According to Troeltsch* Churches have about 5 characteristics: Churches tend to have … Continue reading

Posted in Religion, religious organisations, Sociological concepts | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Religious Pluralism: Evidence of Secularization?

Durkheim’s view of religion implied that a truly religious society could only have one religion in that society. In Durkheim’s analysis this was the situation in small-scale, Aboriginal societies, where every member of that society comes together at certain times … Continue reading

Posted in Religion, secularization, Sociological concepts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What is Normal?

The concepts of ‘normal’, and ‘normality’, and the question of what counts as ‘normal behaviour’ has long been of interest to sociologists. Sociologists from different perspectives have very different approaches to answering the basic, but fundamental question, ‘what is normal’? … Continue reading

Posted in Sociological concepts | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What is Secularization?

A simple definition of secularization is the declining importance of religion in a society. Wilson (1966) provided a ‘classic’ definition of secularization which has been widely adopted by A-level text book authors, teachers and students for decades: Wilson (1966) defined … Continue reading

Posted in Sociological concepts | Leave a comment

What is Religiosity?

Sociologists use the term ‘religiosity’ to refer to the significance of religion within a society. There are numerous indicators which sociologists use to measure the degree of ‘religiosity’ within society, such as the strength of religious beliefs, the number of … Continue reading

Posted in Sociological concepts | 1 Comment

Max Weber: The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Revision Notes)

Weber argued that the values of the protestant religion led to the emergence of Capitalism in Western Europe around the 17th century. Weber observed that Capitalism first took* off in Holland and England, in the mid 17th century. He asked … Continue reading

Posted in Religion, Sociological concepts | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What is Religion?

What is religion? How should we define religion? There is an enormous variety of religious beliefs and practices globally, and the main problem with defining religion is to find a definition which encompasses this variety without including beliefs or practices … Continue reading

Posted in Sociological concepts | Tagged , | Leave a comment

What is Socialization?

A Basic Definition: The social processes through which new members of society develop awareness of social norms and values and help them achieve a distinct sense of self. It is the process which transforms a helpless infant into a self-aware, … Continue reading

Posted in Sociological concepts | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment