Sociology Religion- Theory

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  • Sociology A2 Religion
    • Theories In Religion
      • Marxist- class divided society
        • Religion as ideology
          • ideology- a belief system that distorts peoples perception of reality in ways that serve the interests of ruling class
            • Marx- religion misleads the poor into believing their suffering will be rewarded in the afterlife- creating 'false consciousness'- a distorted view of reality
        • Religion and alienation
          • Marx- alienation- becoming separated from or losing ontrol over something one has created- under capitalism, workers are alienated as they don't own the means of production- exploited turns to religion- acts as an opium to mask pain so marx sees religion as a product of alienation
      • Functionalist
        • Durkheim- sacred and profane, totemism- clan system, collective conscience, cognitive functions
          • Criticisms- worsley says there is no division between sacred and profane- different clans share same totems and d's theory may apply better to small scale societies with a single religion
        • Psychological functions- Malinowski- religion promotes social solidarity through these -
          • Where the outome isimportant but is uncertain- trobriand islanders- lagoon and ocean fishing
            • civil religion- bellah- civil religion unifies American society- a belief system that attached sacred qualities to society itself-civil religion integrates society in a way that individual religions cannot
      • Feminism
        • evidence of patriarchy- religious organisations- male dominated- places of worship- segregate sexes- religious laws giving women fewer rights
        • Untitled
    • What Is Religion?
      • Substantive definition- a belief in God, Weber defines religion as belief in a supernatural-  exclusive
      • Functional definition- what social/psychological functions it performs for society- Durkheim- the contribution it makes to social integration
      • Social Constructionist definition- interpretivist view- how member of society define religion themselves- interested in how religion definitions are constructed, a belief in god isn't main focus


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