Ciągłość i zmiana postaw religijnych w rodzinie miejskiej w świetle badań socjologicznych

  • Janusz Mariański


The present paper is concerned with the problem of to what degree an urban family in Poland preserves the stability of religious attitudes within the frames of ecclesiastical-religious socialization. How much are the attitudes changed? If and to what extent the family constitutes a datum prompting to identify oneself with the patterns of religious attitudes. And basing on various socio-educational processes, is there, and how intensive is, a ..reproduction” of religious committal in urban families? The author presents the process of religious socialization from the angle concerning effects securing continuation or change of attitudes towards religion first in the relation between children and parents, and then young people and their parents, and finally, adults and their parents.

The brief survey of sociological research in this problem has shown that changes in religious attitudes as declared by people interviewed, when compared to parents, are connected not so much with the principal religious orientations (belief vs. unbelief) as with the intensity of the ties with religion. Young people of modern age live their religious life in the family less intensively. This will probably meet a response in religious socialization in next generations. The basic outlook on life is „inherited” in believing families as religious outlook. In unbelieving families it is close to an atheistic one. Despite the „heterogeneous” character of urban religiousness the family still remains an important and strong „support” of religious-ecclesiastical ties and Church membership; it is a personal “matrix” according to which individuals shape and valuate their religious behaviour and a factor which conditions the continuation of religious practices.

The relationship between the religious attitude of parents and the religious attitude of children does not have a deterministic character, thus it allows exceptions and deviations from the average regularity. This is a conformism of a „labile” character. Socialization processes, which follow later on, introduce more significant corrections in urban families than in the families living in the country. The claim that the family has the decisive and uniform influence on the process of creation religious values in their children is right only if referring to the early stage in the process of socialization. When referring to the further stages in socialization it is not fully justified.

In urban environment there are more families in which religious functions are only partially fulfilled, insufficiently from the point of view of the Church’s goals, and families where no functions of ecclesiastical-religious „reproduction” are undertaken. The above points out to some regression in religious-educational conditions among urban families. Only a decisive minority of young people are characterized by sharp nonconformity of religious attitudes in the relation young people and their parents. The number of families which do not fulfill religious functions at all or are characterized by a „counter-religious” function is still comparatively small. In the light of the analyses made the leading role of the family in religious education seems unquestioned. It is one of the factors which restrains secularization processes and has a positive influence on children and young people in preserving the religious traditions as well as in treating religion a part of common values in the family.