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  • Created on: 11-06-15 14:33


Definitions (functional, substantive, constructionist)
Neo-Marxism (see 'religion and social change')
Weber (see 'religion and social change')
Two meanings of 'conservative force'
Summary hand out on Functionalism, Marxism, Feminism & Postmodernism
Weber- Calvinism and Capitalism
Neo-Marxism (Gramsci, Maduro (liberation theology), Dwight Billings)
American Civil Rights Movement
New Christian Right
Theorists in favour (Bruce, Wilson, Weber, Parsons, Turner, Herberg, Durkheim)
Theorists against (Bellah, Luckmann, Martin, Postmodernists)
Empirical evidence for and against
Postmodernism (Davie, Hervieu-Leger, Lyon)
Religious Market Theory- Stark and Bainbridge
Existential Security Theory (Norris and Inglehart)
Cultural Defence and Cultural Transition
Connection to problems of defining religion

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Define Globalisation
Religion and development (India, Tiger Economice,Pentecostalism in South America)
Development of fundamentalism
Cultural Defence (Poland and Iran)
Clash of civilisations (Huntington v Armstrong and Jackson)
Characteristics of Church, Sect, Denomination and Cult
Problems of trying to classify statistics
Reason for the growth of Sects and Cults
Are sects and cults short lived (part of reasons for growth)
New Religious Movements
New Age Religions
Religiosity and Gender (also use feminist views of role of religion)
Religiosity and Ethnicity
Religiosity and Age
Religiosity and Social Class (use parts of reasons for growth of sects, features of church, Marxist views of role of religion, functionalist views of role of religion)
Connections to seculatisation
Science as an open belief system (Popper, Merton, Dawkins)
Religion as a closed belief system (Polanyi etc)
Is science realy that open a belief system (Kuhn, Marxists, Feminists, Gom)
Definitions of ideology
Marxism/Feminism/Mannheim and Ideology
Conservatism as as ideology (think of what the Rew Right say generally
Socialism as an ideology (think of what marxists generally say)
Liberalism as an ideology

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- Substantive:  A focus on the content or substance of religious belief, such as the belief in God or the supernatural.
  - Exclusivist - takes a narrow view on what constitutes 'religion'. E.g. possibly Western Biased, excludes Buddhism as doesn't have a god (like desired by West) and social movements/organisations

- Funtcional:  In terms of religious function (psychological and social) for individuals and society; rather than kinds of belief.
  - Inclusivist - take a broad view of what constitutes religion. E.g. do include all types of faith such as Buddhism; also social/political movements and organisations.

- Social Constructionist:  How members of society define religion; no universal definition to cover all individual cases (as it's impossible to generalise). It doesn't assume it involved a God or anything Supernatural.

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Theories of Religion (Functionalism)

Religion benefits society.
Durkheim - 'Religious institutions play a central part in maintaining order/harmony'
 - Saw religion as providing the 'social cement' necessary if society was to survive.
- Creates stability, identity and a 'collective conscience' -  by the sharing of rituals, ceremonies and beliefs.
Totemism: Based on study of Australian Aboriginal tribes, through secondary sources. Totem is a symbol that's worshiped and is the emblem of a group; normally a natural object or animate being e.g. figure or animal. Overall it creates stability and order, benefitting society overall.
Sacred vs. Profane: Argues that religious worship is the worship of society; faith reinforces the view that society is good. It brings about solidarity, and unites people into a unified society
Collective conscience: Shared norms and values amongst members of society (same conscience); helping people to work together.
Cognetive function: helps peoples ability to think; religion gives us categories that enable us to reason e.g. good bad, time, causation. Religion explains these categories through stories (earths origin, gods punishments etc).
Malinovski - 'Religion helps people to cope in a crisis'
- Study of fishing on the Trobian Islands, there was two types recognised: 'calm waters' (meaning no ceremonies, no danger) and 'out to sea' (rituals performed due to danger involved, prayed for safety/reinforced social solidarity).
- Concluded: Religion helps cope with a crisis; it gives re-assurance, re-inforced order and stops panicking.
- A more recent example or this is the commemeration of the start of WW1 with religious ceremonies/poppy appeal and the marking of 9/11 along with the building of a memorial.

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Theories of Religion (Functionalism)

Parsons- 'Religion gives meaning to life'
- It helps come to turn with death and disaster; key life stages are covered by religious ceremonies. e.g. christenings, marriages, funerals.      [extension of Mlinovskis 'coping with crisis']
- Religious laws reflect societys norms and values; for example the 10 commandments.

Bellah- 'In a multi-faith society there develops another form of religion - Civil Religion'
-Argues people aren't bound together by their different faiths, but by a faith in their nationality. That social rituals can unify people as much as religious rituals.
Civil Religion- an over-arching belief system that attatches sacred qualities to society and life itself.
- Example: USA (alliegence to the flag- each of the 50 stars representing a different state, the $1 bill has written on 'in God we trust', Independance day etc.)

EVAL:  Religion can bring conflict e.g. Afghanistan/Taliban, Iraq/Syria (Sunni Muslims vs. Shi'a Muslims) and Northern Ireland (Catholic vs. Protestant)
- Can be conflict between norms and values of a religion and the norms and values of a wider society
-Claims of Durkheim and Malinovski might not be applicable to complex modern society (based studies on pre-industrial societies); modern society is more divided, might not be as much unity.


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Theories of Religion (Marxism)

Marxists believe religion maintains harmony; but it a tool of opression. It is seen to operate in the interests of the ruling class, and act as an ideological conditioning device that contributes to the levels of social control; legitimates inequality.
Key concepts:
Religion and Ideology:
-Ideology means a set of ideas that serve some purpose; in this case to distract the proletariat/exploited mass from the reality of their position. It justifies vast wealth differences, claiming people are responsible for their own social position.
- Examples of this... Caste system in India (based on Hindu beliefs) proposes the idea of 're-incarnation', seeing people who live a good life return higher up the system, and people who live a bad life, lower. Another example is Heaven and Hell (Christianity, amongst other faiths); do as you are told and abide by the religious guidelines, and you will be rewarded for lifes hardships in the afterlife.
- This acts as a barrier, preventing the proletariat from challenging the system; religion controls ideas and creates False Class consciousness (belief that you're higher up in the system, when in reality, it's just limits people from seeing their true situation).
Religion and Alienation
Religion is a product of alienation (the feeling that you're not in controll of your own life; under capitalism at its worst). It's used by people to console themselves or give them hope- helps them to cope witht he misery of capitalism.
- 'Religion if the opiate of the masses' - Karl Marx. It numbs people from harships of life, as a result they become docile and don't challenge the system.
-Example..' It's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than it is a rich man to enter God's kingdom'

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Theories of Religion (Marxism)

- Religion sometimes does challenge the system
(Neo-Marxism;  who take a less deterministic line)e.g. American Civil Rights movement 1960s, church in South Africa to end Apartheid.
- The concept of Alienation and 'false class consciousness' are unscientific; it's impossible to 'prove' or 'disprove' this notion- how do we know when someones awareness is correct or incorrect? Those who hold religious beliefs don't think of them in oppressive terms and is a major value judgement to claim that it is an example of 'false conciousness'.
- Religion may try to controll people, but it doesn't follow that people take any notice; this is indicated by the secularisation process in many Western societies. Religion may not be the 'opiate' of the people to the same extent is was in the past (in may be another institution, for example the mass media, that carries out the role of the opiate).

[Given the ambivelent nature of the evidence put forward by Marxists, the accuracy of their claims has yet to be determined]

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Theories of Religion (Neo- Marxism)

Some modern Marsxists have argued that religion does not always reflect the dominant ideology of a ruling class. .

Gramsci- 'religion is more independant of the economic base than Marx claimed'
- Religion is seen to be a 'dual character' and can be seen to both challenge and support the ruling class. Popular forms of religion can help the workers see through ruling-class hegemony and offer a vision of a better/fairer world, but some religious clergy can be seen to act as organic intellectuals- that is, as educators and dominant leaders.
- Concept of Hegemony & counter-Hegemony. Hegemony is seen as the ideological domination/leadership of society, and when established the ruling class can rely on popular consent to their rule. He does accept that this is never fully guarenteed, and  counter-Hegemony can be developed by the proletariat to develop an anternative vision of how society should be.

Billings- application of Gramsci's ideas in a case study
- Study of textile workers &coal miners- Kentucky 1920-30s; both WC but experienced different levels of striking/industrial conflict. Miners were more militant and loud about wanting better conditions; Textile workers uncomplainingly accepted the status quo. Argued the differing levels could be explained by hegemony and the role of religion.
- Ways he identified religion to either support/challenge the role of religion include: Leadership (Miners sought leadership of a dominant figure amongst the team; who as miners themselves, helped convert others to the cause of trade unions. Textile workers lacked such leadership; leving them easily influenced by the views of the clergy who identified with the employers, and denounced unions as 'ungodly'.) & Organisation (Miners used independant churches to hold meetings/organisem whereas textile workers remained in 'company churches' that were under the control of the textile mill owners).

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Theories of Religion (Neo-Marxism)

Maduro- Liberation Theology
-Religion can be a revolutionary force that brings about change'

- Liberation Theology is a movement that emerged within the Catholic Church in Latin America at the end of the 1960s; previously an extremely conservative institution, it saw clergys commit to serving the poor and those opposing of military dictatorships as a result of deepening rural poverry and human rights abuses following military takeover.
-Mauro argued in the case of Liberation Theology, religious ideas radicalised the Catholic clergy in defence o the peasants/workers, making them see that serving the poor was part of their Christian duty. This questions Marx's view that religion always legitimates social inequality.

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Theories of Religion (Feminism)

The institutions of religion helps maintain the dominant position of men in several ways. Athough formal teachings of religion stress equality, theres evidence of patriarchy within many of them. E.g. religious organisations (hierachies mostly male dominated, despite the fact women participate more), places of worship (can segregate the sexes/marginalise women, and limit female participation e.g. pregnant/menstruating women not allowed to touch the qur'an) and sacred texts (largley feature the doings of male gods/icons/propets).
Armstrong- Early religions placed women at the centre, we have not always been subordinate to men.
- For example, earth mother godesses, fertility cults and female priesthoods were found throughout the Middle East about 6000 years ago. It's only from about 4000 years ago that monotheistic religions arose, establishing an all-powerful male God e.g. the Hebrews' Jehovah
El Sadowi- Religion isn't the cause of patriarchal oppression as patriarchy pre-dates the religions that justify it. However, it does then exist as a legitimation of that oppression.'
- Religion is used to opress women, but that is a result of patriarchal forms of society coming into existence in the last few thousand years. Once in existence, patriarchy began to influence and re-shape religion; teachings are interpreted to favour.
EVAL: Woodhead- Religious Feminism.
- She recognises that much of traditional religion is patriarchal, but believes its not true of all religion.
- Argues that there are 'religious forms of Feminism' - ways in which women use religion to gain greater freedom and respect.
-An example is the hijab/veil worn by Muslim women; while Western Feminists interpret it as a symbol of opression, Woodhead argues some women wear hijabs to escape the confines of their home & seek education/work, as a result they feel liberated, without losing their culture and history.

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Theories of Religion (Postmodernism)

Postmodernism suggests that the only values in society are relative values; all old 'certainties' that religion once provided are lost and there are now many ideologies to choose from (society is now more fractured).
There has been a move away from traditional forms of belief and behaviour; now people can select their lifestyle, beliefs and leisure to suit them. This has resulted on growing emphasis on experience, rather than the achievement of aims.

Social change has had an impact on religion accodring to postmodernism; in the past some religions had a near monopoly in a society, now they have to compete as globalisation has resulted in competition from other religions worldwide...
Grace Davie- 'Religion is not declining, but simply taking a more privatised form'.
- Argues that many people no longer see the need to belong to an established church, to still be religious. She calls this a concept of 'believing without belonging'. Thus, the decline of traditional religion is matched by a new form of religion.Hervieu-Leger- 'Traditional religion has been replaced by Spiritual Shopping'.
- Continues the theme of believing without belonging and agrees institutional religion (especially in Europe) has declined; argues this is partly to what she calls cultural amnesia, or, loss of collective memory.
-Instead of being born into a religion and sticking with it people may have become more like consumers. Young people no longer inherit a fixed religious identity so they might shop around for the religion that best suits their needs. As needs change over time this suggests people might no longer have a life long commitment to one faith.

EVAL: The focus of postmodernism analysis is on Western EU societies. It's not clear how far large parts of the world may have entered a postmodern era. In reguards to faith it appears traditional religions remain very strong in parts of the world. e.g. Middle East

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What is social change/ what is meant by conservative force?

How theories of religion, can be used to explain 'religion and social change'

Arguments that say religion brings social change: Weber, Neo-Marxism, Case studies (American civil rights, New Christian right and Liberation Theology)

[main parts to section]

What is meant by 'conservative force'?      [two meanings]
- Religion prevents (hinders) change
-Going back to previous era/changing back to where you came from e.g. to traditional times.
   e.g. Iran 1979; previously in the 50s ruled by a Shah who looked to westernise Iran in some ways (introduction to makeup/womens fashion), but protests by people in poverty who weren't benefitting from wealth of countrys oil led to an overthrow in 1979 by clerics, and a reversal of westernisation (back to strict laws/executions) to more traditional times.

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Does religion prevent change or promote change? It prevents change, but gradual change is seen as good.

What evidence is there?
- Sacred vs. Profane (Durkheim)-
Key feature of religion was not a belief in God, but seen to be a fundamental distinction between the sacred and the profane. Sacred things are set apart and inspire feelings of wonder, profane things are of no special significance- things that are ordinary/mundane. When society worships the sacred symbols, people are worshipping society itself and performing the function of uniting believers into a single moral community; there is no desire for change.

-Collective Conscience (Durkheim)- Religion provides society with a 'collective conscience';  the shared norms, values, beliefs and knowledge that make cooperation between individuals possible- without these, society would disintergrate. By sharing religious symbols/rituals it reminds people they are part of a single moral community to which they owe their loyalty.

Why is this preventing/promoting change?
-1. It enables the norms and values of society to be passed onto the next generation

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Does religion prevent change or promote change?
- It is seen to prevent change.

What evidence is there?
- Religion and ideology:
For Marx, ideology is a belief system that distorts peoples perception of reality, in ways that serve the interests of the ruling class; religion is seen to operate as an ideological tool and legitimate social inequalities. E.g. the divine right of Kings (the belief the ruling class were appointed by God, and that to disobey this is not only a sin but a crime; modern day version of this is bourgeois figures in capitalist society)

- False class consciousness (ties in with point on ideology): Religion misleads the poor and opressed into believing that suffering is inevitable and god-given. Such ideas create a false consciousness - a distorted view of reality where the opressed view themselves of a higher value to society, as a result it prevents the poor from acting to change their situation.

Why is this preventing/promoting change?
-Because it stops the proletariat challenging the system so the ruling class stay in power.

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Does religion prevent change or promote change? It prevents change.

What is the evidence?
-Positive role models of males, negative role models of females in religious scripture. E.g. Genesis- Eve is the one who leads Adam into temptation and eats the apple.

-Religious Hierachies are male dominated. E.g. Priests/Bishops (only in recent times have women been allowed to become these figures), the Pope (the pope is always male).

-Controlling women by religious rules. E.g. worship segregation can be seen to marginalise women into a position subordinate to the male, also wearing the hijab (an act that males don't have to do).

Why is this preventing/promoting change?
-Maintains patriarchy so women remain in the subordinate position.

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Does religion prevent or promote change? Neither, society changes religion.

What evidence is there?
-Diversity: Looking at predominantley Western societies, they have become more multi-faith/multi-cultural societies. Also in terms of family diversity; there has been a growth in different structures, differing from the British religious norm of the 'Nuclear family'.

-Pick n Mix religion: People can be seen to pick and choose rituals and beliefs to fit their lifestyle and position within society. Grace Davie uses a concept called believing without belonging, which suggests that the decline in church attendance doesn't reflect growing secularisation; it indicated there has been growth in a New age religion.

Why is this preventing/promoting social change?
Religion doesn't chance society, it's society that changes religion. E.g. atitudes towards divorce, same-sex marriage, same-sex couples have liberalised, and legislation has been passed refleting the decline in stigma around these areas.
Many Churches have too, liberalised their views.

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Does religion prevent change or promote change? Religion can sometimes bring about change.

What evidence is there?
-An example Weber uses to back up his view is Calvinism-
a form of protestant belief which contained certain values that helped bring about the move from feudalism to capitalism. Therefore in this case, religion brought about change in society.
- A key Calvinist belief was pre-destination (which means that God knows everything):They believed that people had no influence on whether they was going to heaven or hell, but the anwser was already known by God. This creates a psychological problem as people feared hell, the solution to this was seen to be hard work and the avoidance of luxury; that way they must surely gain a place in heaven. Instead of indulging in financial rewards, Calvinists invested their money; and investment is what leads to the development of capitalism.

Why is this preventing/promoting change? Because religious beliefs on this occasion led to the evolvement of society from a state of Feudalism, to a society of Capitalism.

- Kautsky -
Weber overestimates the role of ideas and underestimates the economic factora in bringing capitalism into being.

CONCLUSION: Depends on how you define capitalism as to whether Calvinism had a chance of bringing capitalism about.

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The American Civil Rights Movement
-Although slavery has been abolished in 1865, Blacks in the southern states of America were still being segregated. E.g. different toilets, bus seats, and were denied legal/political rights.
- American Civil rights was an activist group of protestors and led by Martin Luther King (a leader at a baptist church); churches were a meeting point for the organisation.
- They were aiming for equality and the end of segregation, and was successful; in 1964 segregation was outlawed.
- Why? They were able to shame white people by appealing to shared Christian values. They were able to point out that 'everyone is equal before God' and therefore whites shouldn't treat blacks as second class citizens.
The New Christian Right
-The New Christian Right was a religious organisation that believed America had become too liberal, and wanted to 'bring America back to God'.
-They held strong links to the Repbulican party, and organised their campaign by the use of media networking, televangalism (God channels) and had demonstrations outside abortion clinics.
-They aimed to make homosexuality, divorce and abortion illegal, to ban sex education (as too many people seen as liberal in attitude towards sex) and to enforce the teaching of creationism (Adam and Eve) in schools as opposed to evolution theory. However, their campaign wasn't succesfull.
-Why? Because the 'Moral majority' as claimed, was never a majority; at most 15% of the population. They couldn't cooperate with other religious groups as they believed their way alone was the right way. Also, they lacked widespread support- their message went against the American values of freedom of choice.

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Maduro - Liberation Theology

Dwight Billings

[make notes on the people, use info covered in prev topic of checklist and pen them in]

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RELIGION AND SOCIAL CHANGE (Evidence examination)


CAN (religion brings change):
- Gramsci or Weber
-Liberation Theology (Maduro)
- American Civil Rights

CAN'T (doesn't bring change):

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Identify and explain three criticisms of Webers view that Calvinism brought about change.
- Some countries that were Calvinist didn't go Capitalist e.g. Scotland (shows it didn't bring about Capitalism, like stated)
-Weber overestimated the influence of ideological roles for the bringing about of capitalism, and underestimates the economic state as a role; suggests that religion wasn't the main reason for the social change.
-'Capitalism came before Calvinism' - Kautsky. States Calvinism can not be the cause of Capitalism, when it came after it.
Identify and briefly explain 2 examples of sociological evidence that might be used to support the post-modernist view expressed in Item A (that the 'grand-narrative' of religion has collapsed).
-Attendance of Chuch has declined; indicating people aren't taking notice of Religion anymore and are turning to alternative hegemony.
-People have shifted to science for explaining events- people now explain the universe in terms of evolution, rather than the creation story.
-Society has diversified in terms of faith; with a multi-faith society there are a number of truths, rather than one truth. Therefore people have started to question the trut of any of them.
Religion today helps societies to remain stable and aviod conflict. To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence support this view.
Argument of Stability: Functionalism, Marxism, Feminism
Argument of Conflict: Neo-Marxism, Postmodernism and examples of New Christian Right,  American Civil Right
[Link American civil right back to a stability eval point- conflict brought about harmony - 1964 abolishment of segregation]
[Then link back to Huntington - fundamentalism and the 'clash of civilisations' - did it really bring harmony?]

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Globalisation and Religion (Definitions)

Definition of Globalisation:
-The world becoming a smaller place; the breaking down of international barriers, for example, Nato and the mass media.

Definiton of Fundamentalism:
- The belief in the literal truth of religious scripture; the intolerance of others beliefs and strict adherence to the rules of ones faith.

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Globalisation and Religion (Religion and Economic

The Growth of Hinduism in India (Nanda)
- Globalisation led to growth of the Indian economy, for example a serious growth in pharmeceuticals. This economic growth led to the growth of religion; the increase in middle class citizens saw them use Hinduism to justify their new found wealth.

Tiger Economies (e.g. China and Singapore)
- New religious movements came into the cities, and it was these who were seen to increase economic growth.
-The 'protestant ethic effect' as suggested in Webers Calvinism analysis is also applicable here, as the countries new found values brought about wealth. This is the opposite to India; religion created wealth, it wasn't just used to justify it.

Pentecostalism in South America
- As a result of a new wave of relgion entering the state; Pentecostalism replaced Catholicism. The new found values were seen to create economic growth.
-However, as a criticism, only certain parts of Brazil actually had economic growth; even though Pentecostalism came in all over the country.

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Globalisation and Religion (fundamentalism develop

Giddens - Fundamentalism and Cosmopolitanism
- Giddens sees fundamentalists as traditionalists who seek to return to the basics or fundamentals of their faith. He contrasts this with cosmopolitanism- a way of thinking that embraces modernity and is in keeping with todays globalising world.
-Unlike fundamentalism, comsopolitanism is tolerant of the views of others and is open to new ideas/modifying beliefs.
-Argues that ones lifestyle is a personal choice rather than something prescribed by an external religious authority; fundamentalism is the enemy of cosmopolitan thought and modernity.

Castells - (similar to Giddens) Resistent Identity, Identity project
-Distinguishes between two responses to postmodernity...
-Resistant Identity-
a defensive reaction of those who feel threatned and retreat into fundamentalist communities.
- Project Identity- the response of those who are forward-looking and engage with social movements such as feminism and environmentalism.

Bruce- Fundamentalism and Secularisation
-Argues that secularisation/modernisation is seen as a threat to religion (it challenges the authority of religion)
- There are key ways in which it challenges authority: Societalisation (society becomes fragmented) and Differentation (religious life is seperated from other parts of life; in the past religion was the focal point, now its not).
-Feeling threatned on it's own is not enough for fundamentalism to develop, other factors are also required. E.g. Ideological cohesion (a single text - bible, qur'an, - helps to give literal directives and makes it easier to mobilise people) and Potential recruits (People who feel marginalised enough to join the organisation e.g. ISIS attracts young adults from the UK)

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Globalisation and Religion (is religion a cause of

Cultural Defence- Steve Bruce
- See's one fucntion of religion in todays world as that of cultural defence; it serves to unite a community against an external threat. Defending a community/group against an outside threat often gives religion a prominemt role in politics
-Two examples of religion acting as a cultural defence is Iran and Poland; both of which see religion defend a national identity in the face of domination by an alternative power base.
-Poland: Came under Soviet controll after WW2 and as a point of resistence to this, the Catholic church grew. In the 1980s, the church gave it's active support to a 'solidarity' movement that did much to bring about the fall of communism and thereafter the church re-gained a public role.
-Iran: Saw heavy Western support for the Shah of Iran in the 1950s because of vast oil amounts, however the lowwer classes of Iran never saw/benefitted from the countrys wealth. Resentment of the population led to a movement that saw the overthrow of the Shah anf formation of the Islamic Republic (1979) - a more fundamental form of leadership.

Clash of Civilisations - Huntington
-Argues that conflict increased as a reaction to the threat seen by globalisation.
-Claims there are aroung 7 civilisations; which previously could co-exist in a world where it was possible for them to remain seperate. Globalisation is seen to make the world smaller and so the conflicts become more inevitable as each group seeks to impose their values on others.
-Uses the example of 'Western civilisation being under threat from Muslim based groups who are seeking to overthrow Western democracies and build a world centered on Islam'.

-Armstrong- 'Conflict isnt due to religion; reason for conflicts in the Middle East is Western Support for corrupt regimes (for oil supply).
This is a reversal on Huntingtons argument and sees the Western involvement in the Middle East (for oil) as them trying to impose their beliefs in the Muslim world, especially in the countries rich with natural oil supplies.

-Beyer- 'Religion can bring conflice (paticularistic), and it can bring harmony (universalistic); but it probaly does neither'.
-Takin a paticularistic stance, religion will lead to conflict; this focuses on the differences between religions. Taking a universalistic stance, will lead to harmony; this focuses on the elements many religions have in common e.g. a belief in universal human rights, some idea of social justice, and concern for the environment.
-ALL could work together in the eyes of Beyer, however because due to secularisation and the suggested decline in influence, he argues it probaly does neither.

Casonova- Huntington ignores the conflict within the civilisations.
- For example, Sunni and Shi'a Muslims

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-Many sociologists agree that due to secularisation, science has taken over from religion for explaining the world. (Durkheim, Parsons, Weber)
-Weber in particular argues using the concept of 'disenchantment'- this sees magical and religious ways of thinking being replaced by a rational mode of thought.


Karl Popper- Science is the opposite of religion; it is open to scrutiny and the claims it makes can be checked/tested. It is subject to criticism and testing and falsification is the defining characteristic of all scientific knowledge; can be disproved at any time.
-Also adds that unlike religious clergy or strong believers in a particular faith, scientists are open-minded and they never say that something is definite and can't be wrong.
-Disreguarding knowledge claims that have been falsified is what, according to popper, enables scientific understanding of the world to grow.

Merton- CUDOS
-If poppers correct, it still doesn't explain the sciences rapid growth in the past few centuries. Merton uses this acronym to express what science offers that religion can't...
Communism (scientists share knowledge, its not private property)
Universalism (the evidence of science is judged by universal testing, bot by the particular race, sex etc of the person who produces it)
Disinterestedness (commitment to pursuing knowledge, makes it harder for scientists to lie/commit fraud etc)
Organised Sceptacism (No knowledge is sacred; every idea is open to criticism)
- These points can explain science as a growing force and open belief system as it enables people to use the tried and tested info to improve the quality of life; instead of listening to religion and sticking within guidelines.

[ALL AGREE: Religion as a closed belief system- the opposite of science; religious knowledge is defined as the absolute truth and held in awe, anyone who is seen to question is punished and over time, knowledge doesnt change]


Polanyi - The case of Dr. Velikovsky (not a sociologist)
- He produced a book on the origins of the earth which challenged the revolutionary theory, geology and astraunomy. As a result, the scientific community responded by refuting the book, refusing to read it and urging other people to boycott the book. Anyone who asked for the book to be given a fair hearing was threatned with job dismissal (the same as religion, punishing undesiarable behaviour)
-This suggests religion isn't any different from science, shown by the reaction to velikovskys book; scientists in that case were 'not open to new ideas'.

KUHN- Paradigms
-Argues science operates in Paradigms- that means a set of ideas that are held at a paticular point in time, about how things are.
-E.g- Middle ages (world was flat) and before Lister (the belief that germs were the product of disease, not the cause)
-Argues the majority of scientists adhere to that paradigm, and there is only a few on the margains; it takes an awful lot of evidence before scientists are convinced, and that is when there is a paradgm shift.

MARXISM- Science supports capitalism
-There is alot of scientific research into weapons, because thats what makes money. Comparativley speaking, less researching into deathly diseases such as cancer because it isn't in as high demand by the bourgeoisie.
-Link back: science is influenced by culture and monetary incentives as opposed to acting as an open mind.

FEMINISM- Science maintains patriarchy
-Argued to justify male domination, they use the example of victorian times when it was claimed that females shouldn't be educated because developing their intellectual skills would result in the diminishment of their reproductive organs.

GOMM- Scientists are influenced by wanting to make a name for themselves, and can be influenced by those who're funding them.
- E.g- 1950s research into tobacco and smoking related illnesses showed there was no conclusive evidence for links between smoke and lung cancer. However, it's now noted that that enquiy was funded by the tobacco inustry.

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sooooo helpful

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