New Rms

In: Social Issues

Submitted By Francesca6
Words 1602
Pages 7
“Assess the view that New Religious Movements are mainly for the middle classes and the young.” [33 marks]

New Religious Movements are often viewed as non-traditional organisations, such as sects and cults. Sociologists believe that there are differences within such groups and thus, they could help to explain why certain social groups might find them appealing. Traditional organisations are often referred to as churches and denominations. They also might appeal to certain groups more than others.
Arguably, the middle classes find NRMS more appealing because according to Wallis the affluent middle class are more likely to suffer from relative deprivation. Despite their wealth and having all the material comforts of life, they feel a spiritual void. So, a cult – which, according to Stark & Bainbridge offer compensation by offering people the things they lack; might appeal to those who materially have everything but spiritually lack fulfilment. Also, most cults allow members to lead conventional lifestyles – a factor appealing to the middle classes who might need to retain this sort of life in order to keep on making money.
However, Troelstch believes that the M/C actually find the more conventional church more appealing. This is because the church is very well-established in society and perceived as hierarchical and formal. Belonging to a church therefore serves to reinforce their status in society or their local community. E.G Several wealthy and famous people like Tom Cruise & John Travolta belong to Scientology – which even though perceived as a cult actually regards itself as a church and has been established in American society for over fifty years.
Wilson believes though that NRMS still have greater appeal for the M/C, especially young, white ones. In the 1960s, when many such groups became popular, these young people –…...

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