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Analyse and evaluate the relationship between religion and social change

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Introduction

Analyse and evaluate the relationship between religion and social change A hot sociological debate is the relationship between religion and social change. Sociologists have long been divided on the issue. Sociologists such as Weber and Parsons believe religion is a force for social change whereas others like Marx and the postmodernist Bauman believe religion is not a cause for social change. Sociologist Weber argues that religion encourages social change. Weber wrote the protestant ethic about Calvinism. Calvinism were a group of people who valued working for money and any money they earned they put back into their own business. ...read more.

Middle

Religion also maintains the status quo and the interests of the ruling class rather than for everyone. This is very much the opinion of every Marxist due to the fact that Marxists believe that religion is beneficial to the ruling class and no-one else. Marxists argue the fact that religion can just be used to dull the pain of oppression and is the ?opium of the people.? However when it comes to social change Marxists do not believe religion is a cause because they see it as maintaining the status quo. ...read more.

Conclusion

However Parsons does says that religious belief still gives meaning and significance to life. Postmodernists such as Bauman believe that in society today we search for universal truths ? which are theories that are true. Bauman says that we now have unlimited choice as to what we believe and how to behave. Bauman is suggesting that social change has an impact on religiosity, and that as society changes so are the beliefs we have. To conclude, it is probably the case that religion and social change do impact on each other. However, we must bear in mind the idea suggested by Marx who argues that religion is a conservative ideology preventing social change which suggests that evidence on this debate is far from conclusive. ...read more.

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