Consumer Society: Case of Modeling Relationships between Consumerism and Religiousness

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Assoc. Prof. Department of Sociology; Senior Research Fellow
RUDN University
Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Occupation: Head of the Laboratory
Affiliation: Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameSotsiologicheskie issledovaniya
EditionIssue 7

This article is an attempt to establish the empirical validity of hypotheses describing the relationship between the evolution of consumer society and religion. Four hypotheses are considered: “secularization” (religion declines with the growing consumerization of societies), “radicalization” (the importance of religion rises in the face of the hostile values of rampant consumption), “commodification” (religion is assimilated by the consumer society as an area of spiritual services) and “the third variable” (religion is associated not with the development of consumption, but with economic development as such). Based on the available statistics for various countries of the world, ways to measure the levels of consumerization and the importance of religion in modern societies are sequentially considered, as well as statistical predictions of each of the four hypotheses. By analyzing the correlations between the consumerization index and the level of GDP, on the one hand, and individual religiosity and state support for religion, on the other hand, we checked whether the real data corresponded to that predictions. Based on the results of the analysis, it can be concluded that the expansion of the space of consumption opportunities is associated with a decrease in the level of individual religiosity in the cross-country context. That is, the first hypothesis is confirmed - about the connection between secularization and consumerization.

Keywordsconsumer society, consumerization, public wealth, religion, religiosity, secularization, radicalization, religion and state, cross-country comparisons
Publication date22.09.2022
Number of characters29948
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