Ideological Transmission III: Political and Religious Organisations (Executive Summary)

This is the executive summary of the full report, by Professor Kim Knott and Dr Benjamin Lee, on ideological transmission, focusing on political and religious organisations.

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This is the executive summary of the third and final research review in the CREST series on ideological transmission (the first was on the family, and the second on peers, education and prisons).

This third review focuses on the process by which religious and political groups – from small cells and organisations to large movements, networks and milieus – pass on ideas, beliefs and values.

The research questions that inform these reports are as follows:

  1. How do ideological groups make potential supporters and other outsiders aware of their views (awareness-raising/persuasion/propaganda)?
  2. How is ideological material (beliefs, events, issues etc) framed by groups as they seek to raise awareness, gain recruits and energise followers?
  3. How do members and other supporters acquire ideological knowledge within groups (learning/indoctrination)?

The full report draws on a range of evidence from multiple disciplines and contexts. Extremist groups – violent and non-violent – provide the principal examples, including a case study on the jihadist group, al-Muhajiroun.

The first review (see Ideological Transmission I: Families), dealt with the ideological influence of the family on young people.

This second review (see Ideological Transmission II: Peers, Education and Prisons), focused on secondary socialisation, and considered ideological transmission within social groups (peers), centred on educational settings, including schools, universities and university societies, and prisons.

You can download the executive summary here: 18-041 Ideological Transmission III: Political and Religious Organisations (Summary)
You can find the full report here.

You can find all the outputs on Ideological Transmission here, including the other two reports in the series, Ideological Transmission I: Families and Transmission II Peers, Education and Prisons

These reports are products from the ‘Ideas, Beliefs And Values In Social Context’ programme, led by Professor Kim Knott at Lancaster University. The project was funded by the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats. You can read more about the project here.

This report is produced under a Creative Commons 4.0 BY-NC-SA licence. For more information on how you can use our content read our copyright page.