In order to study how religious behaviour is evolving in contemporary societies, the paper looks at the relation between the individuals’ position in social stratification and their participation to the weekly mass, and at its evolution in contemporary Italy. The data come from the ITANES database, including national representative surveys from 1968 to 2006, and are analyzed with logit models. Weekly mass participation has decreased from 1968 to 2006. The trend was rapid in the 60s and 70s, has slowed in the 80s, but it has started again in the 90s. Ceteris paribus, the upper class shows a consistently more religious behaviour than the intermediate and the lower ones, and that the least educated are more religious. There is also evidence og a strong and consistent cohort effect, persisting across the considered period. Each cohort does not change much its participation to the weekly mass over time, but each new cohort shows a lower level of participation. The findings give support to the classical secularization thesis, despite the many critiques adressed to it since the 90s. Given that Italy is one of the most religious Western countries, this is a quite important finding. Some support is also given to the hypothesis of religion as an “instrumentum regni”, according to which it is in the interest of the higher social strata to be more religious, as religion supports and legitimates existing patterns of social inequality. Findings concerning cohorts point to socialization as the actual mechanism changing behaviours and attitudes.

Social stratification and church attendance in contemporary Italy / G. Ballarino, C. Vezzoni (RESEARCH IN THE SOCIOLOGY OF WORK). - In: Religion, Work and Inequality / [a cura di] L.A. Keister, J. Mccarthy, R. Finke. - Bingley : Emerald Group Publishing, 2012. - ISBN 978-1-78052-346-0. - pp. 311-335

Social stratification and church attendance in contemporary Italy

G. Ballarino
Primo
;
C. Vezzoni
2012

Abstract

In order to study how religious behaviour is evolving in contemporary societies, the paper looks at the relation between the individuals’ position in social stratification and their participation to the weekly mass, and at its evolution in contemporary Italy. The data come from the ITANES database, including national representative surveys from 1968 to 2006, and are analyzed with logit models. Weekly mass participation has decreased from 1968 to 2006. The trend was rapid in the 60s and 70s, has slowed in the 80s, but it has started again in the 90s. Ceteris paribus, the upper class shows a consistently more religious behaviour than the intermediate and the lower ones, and that the least educated are more religious. There is also evidence og a strong and consistent cohort effect, persisting across the considered period. Each cohort does not change much its participation to the weekly mass over time, but each new cohort shows a lower level of participation. The findings give support to the classical secularization thesis, despite the many critiques adressed to it since the 90s. Given that Italy is one of the most religious Western countries, this is a quite important finding. Some support is also given to the hypothesis of religion as an “instrumentum regni”, according to which it is in the interest of the higher social strata to be more religious, as religion supports and legitimates existing patterns of social inequality. Findings concerning cohorts point to socialization as the actual mechanism changing behaviours and attitudes.
comportamento religioso ; partecipazione alla messa ; stratificazione sociale ; classe sociale
Settore SPS/08 - Sociologia dei Processi Culturali e Comunicativi
Settore SPS/09 - Sociologia dei Processi economici e del Lavoro
Settore SPS/07 - Sociologia Generale
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/217491
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