Influence Of Religious Belief On Political Participation In South West
Table of content
Table of content
1.1 Background of the study
1.2 Statement of problem
1.3 Objective of the study
1.4 Research Hypotheses
1.5 Significance of the study
1.6 Scope and limitation of the study
1.7 Definition of terms
1.8 Organization of the study
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
3.0 Research methodology
3.1 sources of data collection
3.3 Population of the study
3.4 Sampling and sampling distribution
3.5 Validation of research instrument
3.6 Method of data analysis
4.2 Data analysis
This study is on influence of religious belief on political participation in South West, Nigeria (1999-2018). The total population for the study is 200 residents of Agbara local government in Ogun state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study.
A total of 133 respondents made Imams, pastors, traditionalists and students were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies
Religion and religiosity are the concepts which are not easily defined up to the present. Not only defining the religion or religiosity but also measuring religiosity is also very problematic. Hökelekli points out that since there is no single form of religiosity, individuals believing in the same religion, even included in the same religious group, are different and for this reason, it is possible to mention a religiosity specific to every individual. Thus, this makes defining religiosity even much harder (Hökelekli, 2010: 81).
In addition, Allport indicates that there are as many kinds of religion experiences as the number of people who tend to be religious in the world (Allport, 2004: 46). Similarly Spilka et al. says that “there is obviously great overlap among the various proposals, but all agree on one thing:
Even though there may be only one word of religion, there may be hundred possible ways of being religious” (Spilka et al., 1985: 7). In this respect, Fromm states another situation that is related to this issue. He argues that, it is extremely difficult to understand whether someone is religious or not.
According to him, although some people claim that they are religious, they may not be religious internally, and people who say that they are not religious may act highly religiously (Fromm, 1997: 239).
It is understand from this argument that the problem lies not only at defining religiosity, but also at measuring religiosity, as well. Briefly it could be argued that for this research religiosity means to believe in a religion and to live the life in accordance with the requirements of that religion.
Political participation has started to gain importance from the second half of the 20th century with people’s beginning to take part in the political life, and has become a subject matter on which political scientists study intensively. In that era, democratic thinking gained importance and the idea of constructing political power on large masses instead of an intangible minority isolated from people is observed.
In this respect, political participation is a concept that emerged as a result of the modernization process and as a component of modern societies. Just as the definitions of religion and religiosity, this concept also has been defined and interpreted differently by different researchers.
Aristotle defines the human being as a “political animal”. Based on this quotation, it is possible to assume that human beings will take part in a political idea in some way or other. It is possible to express political participation as the attitudes and behaviors of the citizens towards the political system.
Within this system, individuals perform some actions in order to affect directly or indirectly the decision-making of the political administrators. These actions may range from voting to participate in a candidate’s campaign, to collect signatures, or participating in boycotts or meetings.
In addition, individuals may follow political agenda via mass media or perform a political attitude and action by discussing political issues within their family or friends. So, it is also possible to say that not every individual performs the same level of participation.
While some follow up the political agenda just as spectators, some others may prefer to take part in politics actively. Political participation is defined differently by many researches.
Some consider just voting as adequate for political participation, some others, nevertheless, state that campaign activity, protest behavior and volunteering should also be considered for political participation. First of all, Van Deth states as summarizing the situation that political participation is a wide-ranging concept and “has become a study of everything” (Van Deth, 2001: 2).
Different forms of political participation were first started to be discussed by political scientists in 1960s-1970s (Milbrath, 1965; Verba and Nie, 1972; Barnes and Kaase, 1979). While Milbrath expressed that political participation was unidimensional, Barnes et al. (1979) mentioned two dimensions, namely conventional and un-conventional.
Political participation was considered as unidimensional in 1950s and 1960s, but later it was studied as a multidimensional concept. In addition to a direct relation to political engagement, affects political awareness as well.
In this regard, Greenberg (2000) argues that political relations affected by religiousness not only increase people’s motivation to participate, but it also enables them to feel that their impact on political processes is better and more effective.
Results from the research by Duries et al. demonstrate that in the socio-cultural and political environment studied, despite the high influence of value inclinations, religiousness is the more important factor affecting political attitude.
Based on their research findings, Hoffman and Dowd (2008) argue that individuals with stronger religious inclinations have higher political awareness, and religion and faith has considerable effect on their political engagements. Their findings show that both Islam and Christianity invite people to participate, but participation has been higher among Moslems than Christians.
Epley (2005) refers to religious motivation as a factor influencing participative spirit in individuals. On this background the researcher wants to investigate influence of religious belief on political participation in South West, Nigeria (1999-2018)
Politics and religion are so interwoven that their separation in society is not impossible but problematic. The assertion of religious authority over secular authority for the democrat undermines the legitimacy of the state and the fundamental human rights of the citizens; and the assertion of secular authority over religion “questions” God’s authority over his creations on earth and “undermines” the power and authority of God’s representatives on earth.
The questions that arise therefore are: what really gives rise to the incessant ethnoreligious conflicts that characterize the Nigerian political processes as religious conflicts; does the gloss of religious beliefs and practices over to the nation’s political process engender or endanger the growth of democratic beliefs and practices in the country; and; how can religious and political practices be reconciled to guarantee the institutionalization of an enduring democratic order in a multi-ethnic society as Nigeria .
The objectives of the study are;
- To ascertain the relationship between religious believe and political participation in South West, Nigeria
- To ascertain whether religious believe is a barrier to political participation in South West, Nigeria
- To ascertain whether religious believers with clear political orientations take part in politics
- To ascertain whether religion could be a barrier to political participation
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
H0: there is no relationship between religious believe and political participation in South West, Nigeria
H1: religious believe is not a barrier to political participation in South West, Nigeria
H02: religious believe is a barrier to political participation in South West, Nigeria
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will give a clear insight on influence of religious believes on political participation in South West, Nigeria. The study will be beneficial to students, religious believers and the general public. It will also serve as a reference to other researchers that will embark on this topic.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMNITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers influence of religious believes on political participation in South West, Nigeria. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
- a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
- b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
- c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
INFLUENCE: the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself.
RELIGIOUS BELIEF: Religious belief is the belief in the reality of the mythological, supernatural, or spiritual aspects of a religion. Religious belief is distinct from religious practice or religious behaviours with some believers not practicing religion and some practitioners not believing religion.
POLITICAL PARTICIPATION: Political participation is any activity that shapes, affects, or involves the political sphere. Political participation ranges from voting to attending a rally to committing an act of terrorism to sending a letter to a representative.
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study
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