Purpose – In order to study how religious behaviour is evolving in contemporary societies, the chapter 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. Design/Methodology/Approach – The data come from the Italian National Election Study (ITANES) database, including national representative surveys from 1968 to 2006, and are analyzed with logit models. Findings – Weekly mass participation has decreased from 1968 to 2006. The trend was rapid in the 1960s and 1970s, has slowed in the 1980s, but it has started again in the 1990s. 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 of 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. Research limitations/Implications – The findings give support to the classical secularization thesis, despite the many critiques addressed to it since the 1990s. 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

Ballarino, Gabriele;Vezzoni, Cristiano
2012

Abstract

Purpose – In order to study how religious behaviour is evolving in contemporary societies, the chapter 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. Design/Methodology/Approach – The data come from the Italian National Election Study (ITANES) database, including national representative surveys from 1968 to 2006, and are analyzed with logit models. Findings – Weekly mass participation has decreased from 1968 to 2006. The trend was rapid in the 1960s and 1970s, has slowed in the 1980s, but it has started again in the 1990s. 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 of 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. Research limitations/Implications – The findings give support to the classical secularization thesis, despite the many critiques addressed to it since the 1990s. 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.
Religion, Work and Inequality
Bingley
Emerald
Ballarino, Gabriele; Vezzoni, Cristiano
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/90858
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 2
social impact