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Becoming humanist: Worldview formation and the emergence of atheist Britain

Strhan, Anna, Lee, Lois, Shillitoe, Rachael (2024) Becoming humanist: Worldview formation and the emergence of atheist Britain. Sociology of Religion, . ISSN 1069-4404. (doi:10.1093/socrel/srad050) (KAR id:103471)

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It is widely accepted that the growth of “non-religious” identification and “non-belief” in God(s) in many societies is linked to changing religious socialization. However, existing research mapping these intergenerational changes has largely focused on religious decline or the loss of belief –“push” factors – rather than exploring the distinctive non-religious forms of life into which children are growing up, which may operate as “pull” factors. Drawing on a qualitative study conducted with children, their parents, and teachers in England, we demonstrate how children come to inhabit a “humanist condition” through socialization processes in which “pull” factors towards humanism play a significant role and even shape the nature of “push” factors. The significance of new worldviews also helps explain how participants combine humanism with diverse religious and non-religious beliefs and practices. We argue that socialization processes at home and at school are interwoven and can be hard to distinguish in practice.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/socrel/srad050
Projects: Becoming Non-believers: Explaining Atheism in Childhood
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Funders: John Templeton Foundation (
Depositing User: Lois Lee
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2023 14:35 UTC
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2024 14:48 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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