Functionalist Theories of Religion

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  • Created by: Ellie
  • Created on: 09-06-14 14:16
What do functionalists see as the main purpose of religion?
Functionalists argue that religion prevents social change and helps keep society the same which is good because it creates social order based on value concencus.
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What did Durkeheim find in his studies of religion?
Durkheim focused his studies on an Australian Aborigines tribe and said the worship of totems was equal to the worshiping of society and that by doing this collective worship encourages shared norms and values.
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What did Malinowski find in his studies of religion?
Malinowski found that religion deals with situations of emotional stress which threaten social order. Unpredictable and unexplainable events cause uncertainty and therefore create disruption which threatens social order. Religion=Social stability.
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What did Parsons find in his studies of religion?
Parsons believed that religion provided ''guidelines'' for behaviour in terms of core values. He believed that religion promotes value concencus and helps people make sense of life.
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What did Bellah find in his studies of religion?
Bellah discovered the idea of civil-religion which is the idea that non-religious symbols and rituals can create social cohession in the same way religion does. It creates the idea of a collective conscience and generates social order and stability.
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How can functionalist theories of religion be critiqued?
It ignores the dysfunctional aspect of religion e.g. religious conflict, and ignores the fact religion can be a source of oppression. It also ignores that religion can bring about social change.
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Card 2

Front

What did Durkeheim find in his studies of religion?

Back

Durkheim focused his studies on an Australian Aborigines tribe and said the worship of totems was equal to the worshiping of society and that by doing this collective worship encourages shared norms and values.

Card 3

Front

What did Malinowski find in his studies of religion?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What did Parsons find in his studies of religion?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What did Bellah find in his studies of religion?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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