A2 Sociology religion complete notes

2A Relidion notes - i got an A using this.

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  • Created on: 10-06-12 16:02
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1 ­ Different theories of ideology science and
religion, including both Christian and
Non-Christian traditions
Theories of ideology ­ Marxist, Neo-Marxist, Marxist ­ See ideology as a set of ruling ideas
pluralist, feminist that keep workers is their place ­ a false picture
imposed by the ruling class to keep the working
Ideology = a world view or a set of ideas and class oppressed and gain from them ­ keeps
values ­ a belief system. working class in a state of `false consciousness' ­
makes the ruling class system seem fair and
Karl Mannheim - Two types of belief system; legitimate ­ stops rebellion ­
Ideological thought ­ justifies keeping things as Gramsci ­ Ruling class ideology is hegemony ­ is
they are and reflect the interests of the believed to be `common sense' so no one
capitalist class ­ benefits from maintaining status questions it.
Utopian thought ­ Justifies social change ­
presents the position ad interests of the under
privileged ­ how the world could be organised in
the future ­ radical change.
All ideologies distort reality ­ either an illusion of
fairness or a `wish image' for the future.
Neo-Marxists ­ Social elements such as
education, mass media and religion are ideology
state apparatus ­ capitalism uses them to justify,
maintain and reproduce the class system and
Feminists ­ Ideology is a set of beliefs to keep
women oppressed in society and maintain
Theories of science Popper ­ science is an open belief system based
on falsification of theories ­ can be disproved
unlike closed belief systems
Kuhn ­ science is based on paradigms which shift
when one is broken down
Feminists and Marxists ­ see science as trying to
oppress society ­ believe science isn't a
sociology as it is not the most important thing.
Realists believe science is a sociology as it uses
methods appropriate for its research material
and creates theories.
Theories of religion ­ Functionalist, Marxist, Functionalist ­ Society is like an organism with
Neo-Marxist, feminist basic needs that must be met ­ most basic need
is social solidarity and value consensus ­ religious
institutions play an important part in this.
Sacred and Profane
Sacred = things set apart and forbidden,
inspiring feelings of awe, fear and wonder, with
taboos and prohibitions.

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Profane = Ordinary things which have no special
Religion has rituals and practices which are
Durkheim ­ sacred things create powerful
feelings as the represent someone powerful ­
this can only be society? ­ when people worship
sacred things they are essentially worshiping
society ­ Studies of tribes with a clan system
such as Arunta tribe- found they worship totems
which represent the power of their society.…read more

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­ The relationship between religious beliefs
and social change and stability
Functionalism ­ conservative force, inhibition of Religion as a conservative force
change, collective consciousness, Durkheim and -Stabilises society
totemism, anomie ­ civil religions -keeps society and communities together
-integrates people
Functionalism (Durkheim, Parsons, Malenowski)
­ Religion promotes cohesion and sense of
belonging ­ sense of purpose ­ moral guidelines.…read more

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­ argued that wealth and land should be
distributed equally = a set of religious beliefs
created an ideology which encourages
Other instances where religion has become a
radical force ­ Cargo cults ­believed that the
ships bearing cargo would bring the wealth and
result in the European colonies being removed
from the Islands however when this didn't
happen they became a radical political
movement seeking expulsion of the colonial
occupiers.…read more

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Patt Robertson ­ One leader of moral majority
who said when fundamentalism took over there
would be no satanic church, no free distribution
of pornography, no abortion and no rights for
homosexuals.…read more

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Membership is available to anyone ­ most are
born into it ­ commitment is usually more than
At least several generations old (about 30
Don't believe they have the only version of the
truth just that they have the best approach ­
slightly stricter than churches.…read more

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Wanted life back to how it was and opposed
Wanted a religious movement that changed with
the times (world affirming)
Blacks don't feel welcomed in established white
churches (world accommodating)
M/c women want the world to change and see
opportunities arising for women (world
New age movements and spirituality
Relationship of those organisations to religious
and spiritual belief and practice
4 ­ The relationship between different social
groups and religious/spiritual organisations and
movements, beliefs and practices
Reasons why people join NRM's, NAM's…read more

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­ organismic deprivation ­ can stem from
emotional illness ­ women are likely to seek
healing from religions.
Ethnicity and religion Immigrants and cultural identity
Immigrants from Sth. Asia and West Indies
continue to follow their own religions when they
move to UK ­ find comfort in their religions ­
helps maintain social solidarity ­ gives
immigrants a point of contact in an unfamiliar
community ­ immigrants from poor countries use
religion as a compensator ­ Asian immigrants
had to build their own mosques etc.…read more

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Globalisation and belief systems including
Post modernity ­ end of meta-narratives, Decline of
spiritual shopping meta-narratives
­people no longer
Old theories of religion are no longer relevant. accept them due to
religious divisions,
wars, politics,
communism and
Rise and fall of science
­ Damage to the
environment by
technical advances,
diseases of affluence-
resistance to drugs.
Secularisation ­
decline in church
attendance and
Religious pluralism ­
exposure to new
religions e.g.…read more

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Functional definition world is left to run
Religion is characterised in terms of its functions according to the laws
for the individual and society ­ religion is of nature ­ explains
un-conclusive ­ functions may be performed science etc ­
through media ­ tv, football etc ­ could all be technological
defined as religion worldview ­
technological views
Marx ­ religion was used to justify the can explain why things
oppression of the w.c ­ when capitalism happen replacing
disappears religion will too. religion.…read more


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