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3. Is Belief in God a Matter of Public Concern in Contemporary Wales? An Empirical Enquiry Concerning Religious Diversity Among 13- to 15-Year-Old Males

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This study traces the changing face of religious diversity in Wales from the conceptualization of diversity in denominational attendance, in the exercise undertaken alongside the 1851 census, to the conceptualization of diversity in self-assigned religious affiliation included in the 2001 census. An alternative conceptualization of religious diversity is proposed in terms of belief rather than in terms of attendance or affiliation. Using quantitative data gathered between 2011 and 2012 this alternative conceptualization is tested among a survey of 1,124 male students (13 to 15 years of age) attending state-maintained schools in Wales. The data demonstrate significant differences between the worldviews of young theists and the worldviews of young atheists. The young theists espouse a more positive view of pluralism in contemporary Wales, including both cultural diversity and religious diversity. The conclusion is drawn that religious belief promotes, rather than detracts from, social cohesion. In this sense, religious belief may be construed as a matter of public concern in contemporary Wales.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2014

More about this publication?
  • Contemporary Wales is at the forefront of research into economic, political and social sciences relating to Wales. It contains both academic and practitioner-based articles, annual economic and legal reviews, and book reviews. Its interdisciplinary content drawing on current research on Wales makes the journal essential reading for students and researchers across a range of subject areas, including political and social policy, history, law, media and languages. Contemporary Wales has published articles in English and in Welsh.

    Mae Contemporary Wales wedi’i gyhoeddi’n gan Wasg Prifysgol Cymru fel llwyfan ar gyfer ymchwil blaengar ar Gymru o safbwynt y gwyddorau economaidd, gwleidyddol a chymdeithasol. Mae'n cynnwys cyfuniad o erthyglau gan academyddion ac ymarferwyr, adolygiadau economaidd a chyfreithiol blynyddol, ac adolygiadau o gyhoeddiadau yn y maes. Mae natur rhyngddisgyblaethol y cynnwys sy'n seliedig ar yr ymchwil diweddaraf yn golygu bod y cyfnodolyn yn hanfodol i wleidyddion, gwneuthurwyr polisi, y cyfryngau, gwasanaethau cyhoeddus, llywodraeth leol yn ogystal â fyfyrwyr ac ymchwilwyr mewn ystod eang o feysydd gan gynnwys polisi gwleidyddol a chymdeithasol, hanes, y gyfraith, y cyfryngau a ieithoedd. Mae Contemporary Wales wedi cyhoeddi erthyglau yn y Gymraeg a’r Saesneg.

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