Monday, June 17, 2013

Sacred / Profane Survey 1 Demographic Results

Using Survey 1 which utilized what I've termed the 5-Step method of determining the nature of an event or object's symbolic quality as being Sacred or Profane the following demographic patterns were revealed:

Code Key Table

Key Value Age Sex Religious Affiliation Religious Attendance Highest Level of Education Military Status Marital Status Symbolic Value
1 18-22 Male Pagan / Unitarian Never High School Diploma or GED Civilian Single Sacred
2 23-26 Female Jewish / Buddhist / Muslim Rarely (A) Associates Degree Active / Reservist Married Revered
3 27-32
Atheist / None Bi Monthly BA Veteran Divorced,
4 33-40
Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran Monthly MA

5 41-50
Baptist, Pentecostal  Church of Christ, Protestant, LDS, Apostolic Weekly Ph.D

6 51+
Non-Denom. Christian, Agnostic, Diest, Theism Multiple Times per Week

I collapsed Pagan / Universal Unitarians into the same category as both are non-christian but also fairly 'new' on the religious landscape and are religions that people, generally, have converted to later in life. Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim were all collapsed into the same category as they are all A) non-christian, B) Well-established as a religion within various cultures and C) not expected to have many respondents. Catholic, Methodist and Lutheran religious affiliation were all collapsed into one as they represent a fairly wide-spread and are generally found in 'urban' populations. Where as Baptist (and the others) are not as wide-spread (though there are dozens of varieties of Baptist religions they are not a unified denomination) and are generally found in 'rural' populations.

This was a first-round sweep through the demographics so I knew I would end up having to go back into the data and break the categories apart later but I wanted to see if there was any clustering of the data first.

(A) Holidays and special occasions only.


Key Value Age Sex Religious Affiliation Religious Attendance Highest Level of Education Military Status Marital Status
1 1204590123135127
2 1010175412310
3 7
4 3

5 5
6 1


Surveys were posted to classes offered at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio and Ohio University in Athens, Ohio to students in Social Sciences classes, specifically classes focusing on Sociology. So I expected that most respondents would fit into the basic demographic of an 18-22 year old, single, civilian who has completed at least a  high school education. (shown in red)

The sheer number of female respondents is indicative of the composition of classes, by sex, in most upper-division social sciences classes at both universities. (shown in blue)

What is interesting is the attitudes towards religion and religious service attendance.

A majority of respondents reported that they follow a Catholic, Methodist or Lutheran religious system with the next most common cluster following Baptist, Pentecostal, Church of Christ, Protestant, LDS, Apostolic.

Additionally, a majority of respondents reported attending religious services only on important events such as holidays. However the next most common cluster reported that they attend religious services multiple times per week.

What does this mean?

I went back into the data to separate the Religious Affiliation category.

Religious Affiliation

Catholic 34
Methodist 14
Lutheran 4
Baptist 32
Pentecostal 3
Church of Christ 1
Protestant 1
Apostolic 1

So of the clusters in Religious Affiliation it was the Catholics (for Key Code 4) and the Baptists (for Key Code 5).

So this directed me to look at the responses for those people who were A) Catholic or Baptist and B) Attending religious services either at holidays only or multiple times per week.

I'm curious if this will be the same with the other two surveys since they were given, essentially, to the same type of respondent.

More later,

For a full description of the research that I'm conducting into the nature of E. Durkhiem's original Sacred / Profane dichotomy click HERE.

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