- Durkheim: The collective conscience
- Sacred symbols represent society's collective conscience.
- Definition: The shared norms, values and beliefs that make cooperation between individuals possible. (Without these, society would disintegrate.)
- Regular, shared rituals reinforce the collective conscience and maintain social integration.
- Rituals also remind the individual of the power of society.
- Without society they are nothing and they owe it everything.
- Another function that religion performs for the individual is that by making us feel like something greater than ourselves, it strengthens us to face life's problems.