Learning Table 2-Marxist and Feminist views of religion

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  • Created by: Heather
  • Created on: 10-09-15 10:20
What type of theory is Marxism and what does the Marxist theory suggest about society in general?
A conflict theory- Which suggests society is split into two opposing classes- the working class proletariat who have become alienated and exploited by the bourgeoisie, causing conflict,
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Who do Marxists believe benefit from religion and how?
The bourgeoisie- They believe it benefits the ruling class to stop conflcit occuring in society and keep them in control.
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What do the Marxists believe about how religion is formed?
Marxists believe religion in a social constructed by the ruling class to transmit their ideas of capitalism to the working class.
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How do Marxists say the ruling class are using religion?
They see religion becomes a tool for oppressing the proletariat (keeping them 'in place') and justifying their position in society,
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How do Marxists see religious beliefs?
They believe religious beliefs aren't truths but are manipulated by the bourgeoisie and are therefore an ideological force,
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Describe what the term 'ideological state apparatus means' to Marxists?
They use it to explain that religion, similarily to education and the media, has a role in controlling the feelings of workers and stopping them from wanting a revolution (social change),
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What do Marxists say is the role/function of religion and an example
To help the working class escape the alienation of the capitalist production process. It disguises the true nature of explotation by providing an explanation for inequality,
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For example, how does the idea of Heaven benefit the Bourgeoisie?
The concept of heaven being at the end of a worker's life gives rise to ignorance of their current plight. In believing they go to a perfect place when dead means alienating work becomes something to be suffered to prove worthiness,
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What is a key quote from Marxists concerning religion?
'The opium of the masses' means it acts as a type of drug to keep the workers passive and stop revolution,
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What does idoelogical control lead to and how?
Social control, -Through secondary socialisation religion teaches and preaches the norms and values of the ruling class e.g.the value of money and importance of hard work, therefore the working class act how the ruling class want them to,
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Give an example of Marxist ideas in religion?
Church of Scientology-THis puts a great deal of emphasis on wealth and creation and enjoys the financial benefits of having rich donors e.g. Tom Cruise,
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For Theoretical evaluation, who has supported Marxist theory and how?
Feminist Sociologists as feminist theory is sympathetic to the idea of religion suppressing conflict between social groups as well as imparting negative norms and values to certain members of society.
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Give an example of a feminist and what she believes?
Holm argues that much religious doctrine has been interpreted by mne and therefore religion passes on inheret gender bias in its teaching,
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However, what do feminists argue that Marxist understanding is missing?
Feminists believe Marsit oppression is incomplete as they ignore gender patriarchal oppression.
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What does this suggest about Marxist theoretical ideas?
They have wider theoretical appeal but limited in terms of its explanations of oppression,
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What sociologists have criticised Marxist theory on a theoretical level and instead what do they believe about religion?
Weberian sociologists-Weber argues that religion doesnt operate to impart norms and values to society, but in fact create capitalist society as we know it,
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How does Weber believe that religion has helped to create a capitalist society?
Weber believes the move from feudal cottage industries to large scale industrial factories could not have occured without the protestant work ethic,
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What does this suggest about Marxist theoretical ideas?
This suggests that the Marxist approach only offers a partial view on how religion functions within society,
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Who supports Marist ideas empirically and why?
Bruce who studied the role the New Christian Right (NCR) played in the 1980 American election. He found that the NCR helped right-wing (more business orientated) candidates defeat 23 of 27 more left-wing (more Marxist) candidates,
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What does Bruce argue that this shows?
That there is a link between New Christian Right and support for capitalist ideology,
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Therefore, what does this suggest about Marxist ideas empirically?
The empirical data suggests that there is some validity in the Marxist ideas,
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How has criticised Marxist ideas on empiricial grounds and why?
Neo-Marxists who believe religion doesnt always promote ruling class ideologies within society?
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Give a specific Neo-Marxist and the evidence he found to support this view?
Manduro-In South America, although Catholicism often supported the ruling class, increasingly the clergy are acting in ways to help the working class break free-known as liberation theology,
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What does this suggest about Marxism empirically?
This suggests that Marx is incorrect in suggesting all religion exists to control the working class,
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What type of theory is feminism and what do all feminists believe?
A conflict theory-They agree that religion, society and Sociology is patriarchal i.e. male dominated,
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How do feminists view 'classic' theorists explanations of religion and example?
They argue social explanation only account for and explain male behaviour. Much of the empirical research sociologists such as Durkheim and Marx use are part of the 'malestream' so made up of male participants,
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Do feminists believe religion causing conflict in society and if not what?
No they see religion as acting on behalf of men to keep them in control.
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Give an example of a feminist comparing feminist views of oppression in religion with Marxism?
De Beauvoir argues religion oppresses women in much the same way as Marx suggests religion oppresses the working classes,
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Like Marxists, what kind of force do feminists see religion and what does this mean?
An ideological force- it preaches the norms and values of men,
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What does the feminist De Beauvoir argue about religion preaching the norms and values of men?
She agrees and argues religious leaders are generally male and much of the doctrine is interpreted from the male prespective, which controls the way women view themselves and reinforces patriarchy,
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What does ideological control of women lead to?
It leads to the social control of women.
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What does what feminist sociologist provide evidence to support this view and an example?
-De Beauvoir, -She argues that through secondary socialisation, religion teaches women how to act within society e.g.the Bible suggests that God created women to be men's helpers,
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What does what sociolgist argue about women trying to escape patriarchy?
Bruce argues that women are more likely to join sects and cults, possibly due to feeling disadvantaged in other parts of patriarchal society. Women may feel a place outside of society may better understand their needs,
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However, what do feminists argue about sects?
That they offer no escape from male oppression e.g. women have little chance of being in power, and stand a chance of both physical and sexual abuse,
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Who has given feminist sociologists a theoretical support?
Marxist theories,
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What do Marxists agree about feminist theoretical ideas?
Marxists agree with feminist ideas od ideological control existing within society and they would also support the idea that control comes from an unequal power relationship between social groups,
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What does this suggest about feminist ideas thoretically?
This suggests that feminist ideas have wider theoretical appeal,
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However, why do Marxists disagree with Feminist theoretical ideas?
Marxists would argue that understanding an individual's social class plays a more important part than their gender in understanding oppression,
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However, who has criticised traditional feminist theory ideas?
Postmodernist feminists
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What would postmodernist feminists argue about the women's role in religion?
They would argue the women's role in religion is about choice rather than patriarchy and believe women choose to either be religious or not,
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What does this suggest about the feminist approach theoretically?
It suggests that the feminist approach only offers a partial view on how religion functions within society,
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What sociologist provides empirical data when investigating the role of women in religion and what did she find?
Jean Holm found that although the classical readings of the religions emphasised equlity between men and women, the reality was different,
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Give examples of what Jean Holm discovered about how women are disadvantaged in religion?
She found women were generally excluded during religious ceremonies,
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What has another sociologist discovered about women being disavantaged in the Muslim religion?
Saadawi, -She found that women are equally disadvantaged in the Muslim faith. She claims that a female circumcision can be attributed to Islam.
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What does this suggest about the empirical views of feminism?
It suggests there is some validity in feminist ideas empirically,
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Why has feminist theory been criticised on empirical grounds?
As not all relgions can be criticised for being patriarchal. Increasingly women are taking active roles in religion,
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Give an example of women taking active roles in religion in Judaism?
-Since 1927, Judaism has allowed the female rabbis,
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Give an example of women taking an active role in religion in the Church of England?
The Church of England has allowed female vicars since 1992 and the Church of England ruled women should be able to become Bishops in 2010,
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What does this suggest about female theory empirically?
It suggests female theory is based on one very narrow view of society and therefore the evidence lacks validity,
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What is the conclusion for Marxist/Feminist views of religion based on the rise of fundamentalism?
Contemporary arguments only cloud understanding of religion and oppression. The rise of fundamentalism has increased the oppression of women too e.g from wearing the veil in the Muslim faith to control of the abortion law in America.
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However, fundamentalism in the Middle East and the USA is not an example of what?
Ruling class or male oppression but rather the fight against globalisation or returning to the 'golden age',
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Why is it difficult to use Britain as an example of their Feminist or Marxist views being correct?
AS secularisation has been continuing to reduce the power of religon over British people. Ifn only 24% of people in the UK regularly attend religious service, how can it be argued that religion has ideological and social control?
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Who do Marxists believe benefit from religion and how?


The bourgeoisie- They believe it benefits the ruling class to stop conflcit occuring in society and keep them in control.

Card 3


What do the Marxists believe about how religion is formed?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


How do Marxists say the ruling class are using religion?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


How do Marxists see religious beliefs?


Preview of the front of card 5
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