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impacts on
Religion is a Religion is a conservative
conservative force for force + force for
force change change
It is bad that
religion is a It is good that
religion is a Neo-
conservative Weber
conservative force Marxism
Marxism Feminism Functionalism
Fundamentalism…read more

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Functionalism: Preventing Anomie ­
Religion is a conservative force(religion prevents
Integration and
change) restrained behaviour
answers to
prevents a state of
All societies distinguish between the sacred and the unanswerable
profane (Durkheim 1912) confusion and
The main function of religion is to reinforce the (suffering,
collective conscience. It does this by transmitting purpose of
shared values as sacred thus giving them more existence,
power. Life Changing Events ­
evil) Parsons
Collective worship, singing, chanting all help people Malinowksi and Parsons
to feel a sense of belonging which reinforces the believe religion relieves
collective conscience Religion the stress of life crises.
provides a
Durkheim: rule book
Durkheim studied Totemism among Australian aborigines. He (bible) which
found that each tribe had it's own totem and they worshiped
it. helps people
Religion is therefore a
to live their
The totem existed as a sacred object that united the group. It conservative force as it
signified that each individual was less important than the lives. Laws are
collective. maintains common
based on
values and is positive as
By worshiping the totem the group was actually worshiping these rules
society. it prevents anomie
Civil Religion performs the same functions as `traditional religions'. through shared values
Singing the National Anthem at sports events unifies people and commandme
strengthens the collective conscience nts) Parsons…read more

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Stability & Change.
Variety of sociological perspectives have examined
the relationship between religious beliefs, social
change and stability.
Some perspectives argue that the main role of
religion is to integrate groups of people and as a
result religion can lead to social stability. However,
other sociologists argue that religious beliefs can
encourage believers to change society or lead to
conflict between groups. They see religion as
leading to social change rather than stability.…read more

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The functionalist perspective on
religious beliefs.
Functionalist analysis is concerned with the
contribution an institution makes to meeting
societies needs. From a functionalist perspective,
religion contributes to meeting societies needs
through providing a shared culture, particularly
shared moral values, thereby creating harmony
and integration.…read more

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