Sociology Unit 3 - Functionalism and Religion.

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  • Functionalist
    • Durkheim
      • Defines religion it terms of the sacred and profane.
      • Totenism.
        • Brought the group together. in effect they were "Worshipping Society"
      • Four Functions.
        • Socialisation / Value Consensus
        • Social integration / Solidarity
        • Preventing Anomie
        • Cognitive Function.
      • Criticisms.
        • Relied heavily on Secondary data
        • Hamilton - May only be relevant to small scale non literate societies.
        • Hamilton - Durk. over states the degree to which we are guided by common values. Rel can cause Conflict.
    • Malinowski
      • Adds on to Durk. theory that it reinforces Social Solidarity.
      • Differs in the fact it focuses on the individual and their psychological needs.
      • Function 1 - Outcome is important but uncontrollable
        • Function 2 - Religion and Life Crisis
      • Criticisms
        • Exaggerates the importance of religious rituals in helping people to cope with people with stress and uncertainty
    • Parsons
      • Religion provides core values and is a central part of society
      • Religion gives meaning to life and answers a persons questions about the world they live in
    • Herberg
      • Religion helps integrate immigrant communities
    • Bellah
      • Civil Religion in America. Generates a widespread loyalty in the nation.


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