Reaching for a new sense of connection? The diversity of unbelief in Northern and Central Europe : an early analysis

Bullock, Josh and Herbert, David (2018) Reaching for a new sense of connection? The diversity of unbelief in Northern and Central Europe : an early analysis. In: Religion and Education; 10 - 12 July 2018, Glasgow, U.K.. (Unpublished)

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Surveys shows that unbelievers have a distinctive profile compared to the general population on several indicators related to sociality, collective identity and cultural transmission. For example, they tend to rank family as less important and to identify less with people for whom tradition is important; but more likely to rate friendship as very important. This evidence suggests a distinctive, less (or differently) embedded, sociality, and lower social conformity, compared to believers. This paper presents early analysis from our Templeton funded Understanding Unbelief project. Reaching for a New Sense of Connection contributes to mapping the diversity of unbelief in Northern and Central Europe by using surveys, interviews and social media across six countries (UK, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Norway, and Romania). In particular this paper focuses on innovative digital network analysis of social media data to capture network formations and gain insights into unbelievers’ cultural production. The countries in this study offer diverse (non-) religious backgrounds including post-Communist societies, (eastern Germany, Poland, Romania), environments with strong pressures to religious conformity, in strong welfare state environments and in less secure contexts; in mixed Christian heritage environments, and with different majority religious heritages (Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox). The sample includes environments which have experienced rapid (Netherlands) and gradual (UK) secularization, in cosmopolitan and parochial environments, and in environments that have high and low levels of unbelief. In analysing our data, we will bring new theoretical perspectives to the study of unbelief, beginning by using Herbert’s theory of religious publicisation (2011).

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Event Title: Religion and Education
Organising Body: British Sociological Association Sociology of Religion Study Group Annual Conference
Research Area: Sociology
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Josh Bullock
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2020 09:50
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2020 10:03

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