Sociology Beliefs in society revision guide

If you are doing sociology A2 Beliefs in Society module, this may be a helpful addition to your revision.

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  • Created on: 30-04-12 16:25
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Religion in
Revision Guide
Jennifer O'Sullivan
Four main strands:
1. The sacred and profane
2. Totemism
3. Cognitive functions of religion
4. The collective conscience

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The key feature of Religion was a fundamental distinction between the sacred and profane found in
Sacred set apart and forbidden and inspire feelings of awe, fear and wonder. Surrounded by taboos
and prohibitions.
Profane have no special significance, ordinary and mundane
Religion also involves definite rituals in relation to the sacred, these are collective.…read more

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Holm notes that women's second class status is often related to female biology and sexuality. For
example, Islamic women cannot touch the Qu'ran when menstruating and Hindu women can't
approach family shrines when pregnant.…read more

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Religion and communism
Marx suggests that in communist societies religion will disappear
It will not be required as a tool of oppression or to maintain the false class consciousness
Support Marxism
The caste system in traditional India was justified by Hindu religious beliefs; whilst in medieval Europe
Kings and Queens Rule by divine right.
Bruce points out that conservative protest in the USA the New Christian Right- consistently support
right wing political candidates.…read more

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Religion as a conservative force
1. maintaining the status quo, preventing rapid social change
2. Reinforcing and promoting traditional beliefs/ values e.g. anti- contraception/abortion/gay
marriage in the Catholic Church. Hinduism promotes male domestic authority.
Feminists would see religion as a conservative force because in many religions men dominate the
powerful positions within the religion. As Holm states only men take part in Orthodox Judaism
ceremonies whilst the women complete preparation tasks.…read more

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De Beauvoir would also agree with this view as she notes how men claim their `authority comes fro
Go' this promotes traditional belief.
Patriarchal values are kept which feminists disagree with.
Marxists would see religion as a conservative force as Religion teaches people not to question their
position within the workplace. This prevents rapid social change as people would not feel that they
ought to change or revolt as it is how God wants things to be.
Capitalist values are promoted.…read more

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The Position of Religious Fundamentalism
· Fundamentalists believe that religion can maintain traditional beliefs but also change society
· They want to revert back to a `pure' form of religion
· E.g.…read more

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Robertson argues that there has been an increase in church state tensions throughout the world.
There is little room for religious concerns in the world of international trade and diplomacy, so
governments may come into conflict with the moral concerns of domestic churches.
Stark and Bainbridge are critical of the concept of a denomination. They claim that the division
of religious organisations into separate types obscures rather than clarifies the differences
between them.…read more

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Move away from the world rejecting it, segregate themselves from wider society. E.g.
Heaven's Gate.
Highly critical of the outside worlds and want to change it
Expect massive commitment from members and often live in isolated communities
Members of Hare Krishna must shave their heads, wear massive robes and chant a
mantra 16 times a day
There are often massive moral objections to such groups due to mass suicide groups.
In 1997 39 members of the Heavens gate group committed suicide.…read more






Sophie Horobin

this is so useful! thankyou!


Just what i was looking for :D Thank-you!


this is great, thank you soo much!


RUBBISH....joking :P


Very useful resource, just the sort of thing I was looking for!


Will this help for all of Unit 3? Beliefs in society for aqa exam?


This is absolutely amazing, all the detail is so helpful. Thank you so much. 

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