Essay Planning (religion as a conservitive force) 33 Marker ?

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  • Assess the claim that religion is a conservative force which maintains the status quo (33 Marks)
    • 1) Religion is a conservative force
      • 1.1)functionalism- religion maintains social solidarity
        • Value consensus- agreement of core norms and values within society
        • Durkheim- social solidarity. Australian aboriginals (totems)
          • Not applicable to post modern society with many religions
        • Parsons- maintains sense of meaning. afterlife/rewards hardship.
          • Small scale- not generalizable to wider population
        • 'Rose tinted' view of religion- ignores conflict caused by religion
          • Irish catholic and protestant conflict
      • 1.2)Feminism- religion maintains gender inequalities
        • Religion is patriarchal and perpetuates women's oppression and exploitation
        • patriarchal ideology, legitimates males subordination of women
        • Male dominated hierarchies- Armstrong (evidence for religious patriarchy)
        • El Saddawi- rise in monotheism, males misinterpreted the religious texts to suit their needs
        • Hostile view of religion- can also liberate woman (Woodhead)
          • Hijab- allows women to gain education and employment to better their social passion
      • 1.3)Marxism- religion maintains social class inequalities
        • False class consciousness, w/c alienated by the r/c
        • Alfusser- ideological state apparatus, passing on dominant r/c ideology
        • Marx- religion is opium of the masses, numbs pains of oppression, reinforces r/c ideology that w/c must work
          • Religion would not be needed in a Communist society
            • Religion did continue in communist societies such as RSSR
        • Hostile View of religion- can also liberate the w/c
    • 2) Religion as a force for social change
      • 2.1) Neo- Marxism-religion can also be a radical force to rid class inequalities
        • Liberation theology- Maduro
        • agree with main principles of Marxism, but believe w/c are aware of their alienation
        • Gramsci- dual consciousness
          • Hegemony not always guaranteed
          • Organic Intellectuals
      • 2.2) Weber
        • Calvinism Bought about modern capitalism
          • Salvation anxiety- leads to ascetic ideals, (working hard)
            • Ascetic ideals have two consequences
              • Profit was reinvested into business- did not spend on luxuries, would be against gods will being unknown
                • When people started keeping profit it lead to capitalism as we know it today
              • Psychological- helped people cope with salvation anxiety
          • Success was seen as a sign they had been predestined to heaven
          • Marxists argues it would be economical factors causing this instead
            • Weber- both in china and India it did not develop due to religious differences
      • 2.3)Bruce
        • Religion drives social protest which brings social change
        • New Christian right- not sucsessful (minority only 15% backing)
          • Religion only brings social change when moral majority backing is given
        • American Civil Rights Movement- successful (moral majority)
          • Taking moral high ground, mobilising public opinion, channelling dissent, appealed to most peoples needs and wants
    • 3) Religion as both a conservative force and a force for social change
      • Fundamentalism
        • Maintains traditional values by using social change to regress back to traditional values
        • Iranian revolution
          • After the country was  westernised by the Shah, a wealthy western elite began to emerge which lead to conflict and protest
          • Ayatollah lead a revolution to return the country back to traditional Muslim laws
          • Successful example of fundamentalism
          • Contemporary example, Isis, although not yet successful or unsuccessful


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