Malinowski: Psychological functions

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  • Malinowski: Psychological functions
    • Religion promotes social solidarity by performing psychological functions.
    • These help them cope with emotional stress that would undermine social solidarity.
    • There are 2 functions where it performs this role:
      • Where the outcome is important but uncontrollable thus uncertain.
        • In his study of the Trobiand Islanders, Malinowski contrasts lagoon and ocean fishing.
          • Lagoon fishing is safe but Ocean fishing is often dangerous and uncertain, so it is always accompanied by "canoe magic," (Rituals to ensure a safe expedition.)
            • Gives people a sense of control which eases tension, gives them confidence to undertake hazardous tasks and reinforces group solidarity.
      • At Times of Life Crisis.
        • For example: birth, puberty, marriage and death.
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