A Level Sociology Beliefs in Society Religion Bundle

This revision bundle is designed to help you revise for AQA A Level Sociology Paper 2: Topics in Sociology, focussing on Beliefs in Society.

It was last updated in December 2018 and is focused on the 'New (2015 onwards) specification. 

This zip file contains:

Eight Mind Maps covering the following topics:


1. An overview of the beliefs specification
2. The Functionalist perspective on religion
3. The Marxist perspective on religion
4. The Neo-Marxist perspective on religion
5. Radical Feminist Perspectives on religion
6. Postmodern theories of religion
7. Religion in Postmodern Times (David Lyon)
8. Religious organisations summary grid (NB a grid, not a mind map!)

Nine Practice Exam Questions: three* 10 Mark ‘Outline and Explain Questions, three* 10 Mark ‘Analyse Using the Item’ Questions, and three* 20 Mark Essay Questions


The questions covered are:

1. Outline and explain two ways in which religion might promote social change (10)
2. Outline and explain two ways in which religious organisations have changed in response to globalisation (10)
3. Outline and explain two reasons why some groups are more likely to join World Rejecting New Religious Movements than others (10)
4. Applying material from the item, analyse two criticisms of the view that religion is merely a tool of oppression (10)
5. Applying material from the item, analyse two reasons for gender differences in the membership of religious organisations (10)
6. Applying material from the item, analyse two reasons why younger people are generally less religious than older people (10)
7. Evaluate the view that religion no longer acts as a ‘shared universe of meaning’ for people today (20)
8. Evaluate the view that religious beliefs and organisations are barriers to social change (20)
9. Evaluate the view that globalisation has resulted in the declining significance of religion for society and individuals (20).

52 pages of revision notes covering the following: (apologies this is a bit long-winded!)

Ideology, science and religion, including both Christian and non-Christian religious traditions

1.    What is religion? Functional and substantive definitions of religion
2.    The differences between science and religion
3.    Arguments and Evidence for the view that Science and Religion are Compatible
4.    Is religion ideological?
5.    Is science ideological? (Overlaps with Theory and methods).

The relationship between social change and social stability, and religious beliefs, practices and organisations

6.    The Functionalist perspective on religion
7.    The Functionalist perspective on religion: Durkheim
8.    The Functionalist perspective on religion: Malinowski
9.    The Functionalist perspective on religion: Parsons
10. Neo-Functionalism: Civil Religion
11. The Marxist perspective on religion
12. The Neo-Marxist perspective on religion
13. Max Weber’s protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism)
14. Feminist perspectives on religion: Simone de Beauvoir: Religion and the Second Sex
15. Feminist perspectives on religion: Mary Daly’s Perspective on religion
16. Feminist perspectives on religion: The Hidden Face of Eve
17. Feminist perspectives on religion: Carol Christ’s Feminist Spirituality
18. Postmodern perspective on religion – Lyon Jesus in Disneyland
19. Bauman and Giddens’ post/ late modern perspectives on religion
20. Arguments and evidence for and against the view that religion can be a force for social change
21. Arguments and evidence for and against the view that religion is a conservative force
22. Religion: a force for consensus or conflict?

Religious organisations, including cults, sects, denominations, churches and New Age movements, and their relationship to religious and spiritual belief and practice

23. Churches/ Denominations/ Sects and Cults: an overview of the key characteristics
24. Churches and Denominations: key characteristics
25. Sects and Cults: key characteristics
26. New Religious Movements: World Affirming, World Rejecting and World Accommodating
27. What is the New Age Movement?
28. Explaining the growth of the new age movement
29. Postmodernity and the New Age Movement.

The relationship between different social groups and religious/spiritual organisations and movements, beliefs and practices

30. The relationship between social class and religion
31. The relationship between gender and religion
32. Statistics on ethnicity and religion
33. Why are ethnic minorities more religious?
34. The relationship between age and religion.

The significance of religion and religiosity in the contemporary world, including the nature and extent of secularisation in a global context, and globalisation and the spread of religions.

35. What is secularisation?
36. Evidence in favour of secularisation in the UK and the limitations of this evidence
37. Disenchantment as evidence of secularisation
38. Rationalisation as evidence of secularisation
39. Arguments for and against religious pluralism as evidence of secularisation
40. Globalisation and religion 
41. What is fundamentalism
42. Steve Bruce: the causes of fundamentalism
43. Samuel Huntington: the clash of civilisations
44. Karen Armstrong: September 11th, Islam and The West.
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