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Functionalism & Religion

Organic Analogy - See society as a system that works together to
form a whole

DURKHEIM (1912) "the elementary forms of religious life"




A02
Small Scale Illiterate Society
Aboriginal tribe were illiterate so used religion to explain
what they didn't understand. Cannot be applied to
educated societies…

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NEO FUNCTIONALISTS

Bellah (1967)
Modern multifaith societies bonding (social
solidarity) is through civil religion
Americanism
Promotes national identity
Includes all religions
Common `god' being worshipped is
someone who embraces all Americans

Beckford (2003) ­
Increased choice and diversity may cause people to follow no
religion however it may also lead…

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MARXISM & RELIGION

`Opium of the people' - Leads the proletariat into a state of false consciousness like a
drug
Mechanism of Social Control ­
Offers an illusion of hope (smokescreen)
Discourages people from attempting to change their situation ­ prevents
revolution


4 WAYS TO DULL THE PAIN ­ CJLS…

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"Religion is the sign of the oppressed creature, it is the opium of the
masses" ­ Marx.

Evidence For & Against Marxism Theory

Indian Caste System ­ justified by the Hindu
religion of `Brahmin at the top' to `untouchables at
the bottom'
Medieval Europe ­ kings & queens ruled by…

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NEO MARXISM

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Calvinism & Capitalism

WEBER "The protestant ethic & the spirit of Calvinism"

Theodicy of Privilege ­ religion justifies society's status
quo

The right conditions for Capitalism include:
Technological knowledge, Finance & Labour

Work Ethic ­ dedication to your occupation
Businessmen didn't have the right `attitude': they didn't want to
commit…

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heaven so capitalism can occur as money would be put into business
instead




EVALUATION OF
WEBER

Weber explained a major social change in society. The
creation of Capitalism ­ provided foundation for later
research

Weber disagreed with Marx: Religion is not a conservation force &
not shaped by economic force.…

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FEMINISM




EXAMPLES OF OPPRESSION

1) Judaism ­ Power of Abraham. Hebrew household has a patriarchal family as
father has uncontested & undivided authority. Women have to wear wigs to
hide original hair & hidden sexuality

2) Islam ­ restrictive marriage laws for women as men are allowed to have several…

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EXAMPLES OF RESISTANCE

1) Holm (1994) & Wright (1994)­ There are `signs of hope'
in religious situation of women. There are many female bishops
and rabbis since 1972

2) Gross (1994) ­ signs of `post-patriarchal' Buddhism
developing in western countries. Promoting democracy as female
monks possible

3) Badawi (1994) ­…

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Patriarchal
Religion became patriarchal through MISINTERPRETATION of religious
beliefs
For example, in Islam, women should cover up but are not forced to although
some men do force them
Polygamy ­ men need to be able to support each wife equally however this is
twisted so they can have as many…

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