Premium Essay

Critically Examine Sociological Views of Sects in Society Today (33marks)

In: Social Issues

Submitted By Hkreetzer
Words 1005
Pages 5
A sect is a subgroup of a religious, political or philosophical belief system, usually an offshoot of a larger religious group. Although in past it was mostly used to refer to religious groups, it has since expanded and in modern culture can refer to any organization that breaks away from a larger one to follow a different set of rules and principles. Sects are smaller, less highly organised grouping of committed believers who usually set themselves up in protest at what a church has become. Sects usually have members who are usually numbered around the couple of hundred mark, showing the main difference between them and the church.
According to Troeltsch (1931), sects are essentially the polar opposite of churches. They are much smaller organisations and the larger ones will tend to have thousands of members rather than millions, while some have only a handful of members. The groups have no norms and values, and if norms and values are attained, they are very different to those of wider society. Troeltsch also describes sects as being radical rather than conservative, with a hostile opinion of wider society, shown in the clashing of them with the law. Deep commitment is also expected of those who are members of the group. An example of a sect group would be the Jehovah’s witnesses; the social background of sect members tends to be connected with the lower classes who may feel oppressed by the state.
However, by the fact that Martin (1978) says that the term secularisation should be banned from the sociology terminology means that Sects, and other outside movements, clearly don’t have that big an effect on society, showing a critical judgement on Troeltsch, who describes sects to have many followers within the lower classes. However if this was the case, then secularisation would occur quicker and everyone would be looking more to the smaller, more marginalised,...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Sociology

...| Belief Systems: Science: | Belief Systems: ideology | Jun12 | Religion is still the most significant ideological influence in the world today. ’To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence support this view? (33 marks) | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | Critically examine sociological views of sects in society today. (33 marks) | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the view that women are no longer oppressed by religion. (18 marks) | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | Jan 12 | The growth of New Age and similar movements is evidence of a spiritual revolution in society today.’ To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence support this view? (33 marks) | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | Assess the usefulness of functionalist theories in understanding religion today.(33 marks) | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the view that most people today choose not to be lifelong members of religious organisations. (18 marks) | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | Jun ’11: | Assess the view religion is a force for social change (18 marks). | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | Assess the view secularisation has been a feature only...

Words: 827 - Pages: 4