Beliefs in Society

Religion force for social change.

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Functionalism Main Ideas

1. Socialisation; Main function is to socialise society into value consensus.

2. Social Intergration; Encouraging collective worship

3. Civil Religion; Rituals and ceremonies are common aspects of national loyalties.

4. Preventing Anomie; Stopping individuals becoming less intergrated.

5. Coming to terms with life changing events; Religion relieves stress and anxiety.

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Studies to support Functionalism

Durkheim; The elementary forms of religion
All socitietes divide the world into sacred and profound things.

Malinowski; Religion allows us to deal with stress, as anxiety leads to disruption in social life.

Parsons; Reigion proivides guidelines for human behaviour.
E.G The 10 commandments.

Bellah; Ritualist ceremony is a common aspect of national loyalties.

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Criticisms for Functionalism

> Church attendance is declining in Western Society

> Durkheims evidence is flawed

> Religion can hav a negative effect on society

> Multicultural/faith society does not explain this.

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Marxism Main Ideas


Legitimating social inequality; Religion promotes heirachy as normality as it is 'natura' and unchangale as it is the position God gave us.

Disguising the true nature of expolitation; Explains social inequality in super natural terms. The real causes of exploitation are disorted by Gods way.

Keeping the working class passive and resigned to their faith; Suffering and poverty is a virtue. Those who do not question will be rewarded by God.


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Studies for Marxism

Halvey; Methodist played a key role of preventing working class revolution in the 19th century.

Leach; Critical of the Church of England because it recruits from what is essentially upper class base.

Hook; Pope has very conservative views on abortion, woman priests, contraception nd homosexuality causing problems in less developed areas.

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Criticisms of Marxism

> Fails to consier secularisation

>Views on religion are over exaggerated

>Fails to outline the importance of religion for the rich apart from giving them money.

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Feminism Main Ideas

1. Images of God in different religions; women see God as love and forgiveness, men see him as power.

2. Sexuality and Religion; because women menstruate and give birth they are seen to pollute religion.

3. Women in religious organistaions; Excludes women from religious heirachy.

4. Feminism and Religion; God is associated with masculinitt.

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Studies for Feminism

Davies 1994

Bird; sexuality is important in religion, RC priests are expected to stay celibate.

Turner; Sexuality is centeral to religion.

Simon and Nadell; Church supports inequality of genders.

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Religion is encouraging social change;
:( Al Queda
:( 9/11 Attacks
:) Accepting homosexuality

Weber; The protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism.
Calvinists - protestant group - 17th Century - believed in predestination
Destiny and fate are fixed in advance and there is no way of knowing your fate.
Live a simple life and put all money into buisness and you'll go to heaven.

>Some large calvinist populations did not industrialise.

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Neo Marxism Main Ideas

1. Emphasised the evolutionary poteial of religion

2.Update the ideas of Marx to suit the new development in society

3. Argues that the ruling class domination is actually more effective if its members are not directly involved in cultrual institutions like the law, media and religion.

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Studies for Neo Marxism

Gramsci 1971; argeed with Marx, claiming ruling class had power over the working class and use religion to maintain hegemonic control over the working class.

Maduro 1982; Argued with Gramsci. In Latin Americaa religion provided guidance for the oppressed people.
Christianity + Marxism = Liberation Theology.

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Criticims for Neo Marxism

> Not everyone is religious and therefore cant use religion to fight back

> Only includes Christianity and cant be used in other religions. 

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