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  • Religion
    • religion as a conservative force
      • religion is seen as conservative (traditional) and also because it functions to conserve things as they are stabilising society
      • relgions conservative beliefs- catholic church forbids divorce, abortion and gay marriage- men being head of family- in 1966 women were allowed to drop the vow 'to obey' - also in Hinduism- there is a lot of male authority and arranged marriage
      • religions conservative functions- it functions to conserve things as they are
        • religion and consensus- functionalists see religion as a conservative force because it functions to maintain social stability- value consensus- Marxists and feminists see religion as an ideology that supports the existing social strcture and acts as a means of control
        • religion and capitalism- marx sees religion as a conservative ideology that prevents social change- creates false consciousness and maintaining the stability of capitalist society
        • religion and patriarchy- feminists see religion as a conservative force because it acts as an ideology that legitimates patriarchal power and maintains womens subordination in the family
    • Weber- religion as a force for change
      • Weber notes that many past societies had capitalism in the sense of greed for wealth which they often spent on luxury consumption. modern capitalism is unique- as its based on the efficient rational pursuit of profit, rather than for consumption. He calls this the spirit of capitalism and has what is called an elective affinity or similarity to the Calvinists beliefs and attitudes
      • Calvinists beliefs- predestination- god has predetermined which souls would be saved and which wouldn't Divine transcendence- god was so far above this world so no human could ever know his will so calvinists feel an 'unprecedented inner loneliess'- when combined with predestination this created what weber calls a 'salvation panic' - they didnt know whether they will be saved and couldn't do anything to earn their salvation
      • Asceticism- self discipline and self denial- monks lead ascetic lives refraining from luxury- Idea of a Vocation- for Calvinists the idea of a calling or vocation meant constant work in an occupation.
        • And so calvinists led an ascetic lifestyle, shunning luxury working long hours and practised rigorous self discipline- their wealth performed a psychological function that allowed them to cope with salvation panic- as they grow wealthier, they took thisas a sign of god's favour and their salvation, secondly driven by their work ethic, they accumulated wealth by the most rational means possible- they grow and prosper- in webers view, this is the very spirit of modern capitalsim
          • Hindusim and Confucianism
            • Weber notes that there have been other societies that have had a higher level of economic development than Northern Europe had in the 16th and 17th centuries but that still failed to develop modern capitalism. He argues that ancient india were more materially advanced than Europe, but capitalism didn't take off due to the lack of a religious belief system like that of calvinism


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