AQA A2 Sociology Notes

Sociology A2 AQA Psychology

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  • Created on: 04-01-13 19:45
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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 who use science as knowledge
Ethnocentric
Only focussed on one small community so cannot be applied
to a multifaith society
Marxism
Religion can be dysfunctional for society e.g. Israel v.
Palestine or Protestant v. Catholics
Outdated
Western societies are becoming secular so religion is no
longer influential enough to reinforce the collective
conscience
Secondary data

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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 people to strengthen their
religion
Parsons (1965)
"LIFE CRISIS" ­ religion helps deal with this and avoids anomie
E.g.…read more

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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
KEY QUOTES
KEY QUOTES
"At any point in history, the ideas of the ruling class are the ruling and
main ideas" = Hegemony…read more

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

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NEO MARXISM…read more

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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 all their time, money & energy but wanted to spend profits on
clothes, house & food
For Capitalism, we need devotion to work &
profits to be pumped back into the business.…read more

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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. Calvinists create Capitalism not
the other way around
Kautsky (1953) ­ Which came first? Calvinism or Capitalism.…read more

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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
wives (polygamy). Men have the choice of divorce. Adultery ­ women are
stoned to death
3) Christianity ­ 14th century ­ women who treated illnesses were executed as
witches.…read more

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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) ­ positive aspects of Islam. Women keep their own family
name and have choice of which interpretation of Islam they give their
allegiance to.…read more

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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 wives as they want
Gender roles are misinterpreted ­ women should provide care for kids but
men may force them to stay home
Evidence of Patriarchal Influence
Religious organisations are mainly male dominated e.…read more

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