Thanks!(Original post by 08graya)
Statistics today show that religion continues to play an important part in the lives of the people living in Britain of a minority ethnic group. Trends show that there has been an overall decline in the membership of Christian groups that are seen to be predominately white. One possible explanation for this decline is that groups such as Jehovah’s Witnesses are very active and go out to actively recruit new followers, however, factors such as ethnicity play a part. Religion can act as a way to help people from other countries transition to their new home, and it can also allow them to keep their cultural identity. As a result of immigration in the 1950s and 1960s Britain is characterised by religious pluralism, with a great diversity of faiths and practices.
There is evidence to prove that a majority of people who attend church services on a Sunday belong to a minority ethnic group. For example, in 2007 only 6% of the British population went to a Christian church, about 1 in 6 of them were African Caribbean’s which, in proportion to their population size in this country, is around 3 times more. This can link to the idea of Durkheim that religion allows people to integrate with one another and helps with social solidarity and building shared values. Davie also suggests that high levels of religiosity help to maintain tradition, group cohesion and solidarity. This was also linked to other aspects of ethnic identity such as traditional dress and cooking. Also, it has been found (Modood et al) that being part of a religious groups helps those who are from an ethnic minority group to cope with the pressures that perhaps come from racial hostility and discrimination.
Asian families are often very close and usually have a large extended family. Because of this closeness, people may feel under pressure to conform to religious values and practices. This would suggest that religion doesn’t always act as a cultural defence and that rather, people go because they feel they have to. As well as this, ethnic minority families who live in the UK are often socially deprived and this can account for high levels of religiosity, rather than cultural defence. Many older Asian women feel that they are deprived when they move to this country because of a poor understanding of the English Language and this in turn, means that they are excluded. Pakistani and Bangladeshi households are the poorest in this country (63% living in poverty in 2005) and many African Caribbean’s face racial discrimination at work – religion for these people, may act as a compensator for the deprivation that they face.
I did this question for my mock exam and this was all I could come up with - I think I still got 18 marks even though it is really short - if I find any other material I have on it (we spent a long time going through the questions after then I'll post them for you)
Could you send the material when you find it to my email? [personal details removed]
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