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Cultural Defence Essay

1034 words - 5 pages

Assess the view that for the minority ethnic groups, the practice of religion and membership of religious groups is mainly a form of cultural defense (33 marks)
Most people would disagree with Bruce’s idea that members from ethnic groups use religion as a cultural defense. The definition of social defense is "a form of resistance, when the group is seen as a threat in a hostile country". Other sociologists disagree with this concept and they believe instead religion offers a psychological function, dual role, cultural identity, social solidarity, value consensus and order and values and norms etc.
There are many reasons why immigrants are attracted to religion instead of social defense. ...view middle of the document...

Religion can be used to make it ease the transition into a new culture or country. This is because religion provides support and a sense of community for a minority group when joining a new environment. Herberg says first generations immigrants participate in religion in the USA. Bruce sees similar patterns in history of immigrants into the UK, religion has provided a focal point for many social groups such as Irish, Polish, African-Caribbean’s etc. But when a certain group has gained acceptance into society their religious beliefs might to decline. This could also link to Durkheim social solidarity, immigrants join in with religion to be accepted into the community, but instead of leaving after they have gained acceptance they will continue with their religious belief because if they do not then their new sense of community will disintegrate and then they will become isolated from society.
There has been a massive growth in Pentecostalism churches in the UK, since the rise of African- Caribbean’s. Bird suggests this religion provides a dual role for the African- Caribbean’s. Bird believes religion provides them with a coping mechanism to deal with racism and the unjust society. Marx’s adds to this and says religion is the Opium of the people. But also Bird believes religion encourages asceticism- this means religion encourages clean living, hard work and also a strong sense of supporting the family and the wider community.
Immigrants are most likely to be looking for work when they come to the UK and be on low wage, so they are economically deprived. So many immigrants or minorities look to religion as a Theory of Disprivilege. Marx’s came up with this idea it’s a religious explanation and justification for social inequality and social deprivation, explaining the marginalization (or disprivilege) of believers, often used as a test of faith with the promises of compensating rewards in a future after death. This is seen in the bible quote “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of...

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