- Created by: bethanw101602
- Created on: 26-05-19 14:44
Functional perpective (Durkheim)
Durkheim: religion sets apart the sacred (forbidden, inspires awe) and profane (normal)
Sacred: creates powerful feelings and worship of symbols. By worshipping symbols, they worship society itself . Religion unites believers in a moral community.
Durkheim studies the Arunta (totem worshippers), said they worship their community represented by totems
Collective conscience: symbols represent all the norms, values etc. Rituals w these symbols reinfoce the collective consiousness
Cognitive functions: religion also the source of cognitive abilities, ability to reason and think conceptually. We require categories to think, such as time and space, religion provides this
Functionalist perpective (other)
Psychological functions: Malinowski- religion promotes solidarity by helping individuals cope with emotional stress. In times of crisis, religion provides reassurance and acts as a coping mechanism. He argues that death is the main reason for the formation of religions.
Parsons: value and meaning- identifies 2 other functions of religion.
- creates and legitimates societies norms and values
- prvides a souce of maingn and value to life
Civil religion: Bellah- religion unifies society (especially multi-faith societies such as America). Civil religion is a belife system that attaches sacred qualities to society its self (i.e American way of life). It sacralises the American way and joins a multitude of groups as one.
1. Religion as an ideology: Ideology is a belief sysem that distorts the WC view of life to benefit the MC. It legitimises sufering of the WC. Creates a false conciousness (distoted view of reality that prevents change).
Lenin: relgion is a 'spiritual gin' that confuses the WC and keeps them in their plac. MC use it to manipulate the WC throught beliefs, and prevents overthrowing of capitalism.
2. Religion and alienation: marx also sees religion as a product of alienation
Under capitalism, workers become alienated form their products and so endlessly repaet the same monotomous task. Due to this dehumanisation, WC turn to religion as a form of consolation, acts as a opiate to dull the pain of exploitation
Religious insitutions are patriarchal- reflect nd perpetuate gender inequality
Religious beliefes are patriarchal idoelogies that legitimates female subordination
Examples of patriarchy in religion:
- Places of worship (segregate genders and place higher value on men)
- Sacred texts (male gods, relfect anti-female stereotypes e.g eve betrayed mankind by stupidity)
- Religious laws (give women less rights than men e.g access to divorce etc)
Religious feminism: Woodhead
Most traditional relgion perpetuates patriarchy, some can use relgion as a form of feminism e.g strong belefe in evangelical christians that women must be highly respected heads of house