Durkheim: The collective conscience

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  • 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.


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