• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Evaluate feminist views on the role and functions of religion in society today.

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Evaluate feminist views on the role and functions of religion in society today. Feminists see religion as a patriarchal institution; maintaining male dominance over women by making them believe it is god?s will. Feminists believe that women are controlled by religions in several ways, for example, dress code, arranged marriage, lifestyle, and education. However functionalists believe otherwise and argue that its function is not to oppress women but to keep society stable whilst Marxists believe that religion oppresses the working class not females. Feminists argue that women?s oppression is shown in almost every religion as they criticise that in almost all the religions, the gods are male. Supernatural beings and religious professionals are overwhelmingly male, and in many religions, women play a secondary role in worship. In traditional religious societies, women tend to have fewer options and less favourable treatment. Females are largely absent in sacred texts in general. In Catholicism Women are seen as ?unclean? and ?impure? and so should not be given roles of power within the church, this shows women?s inferiority as they cannot have the same roles as men, showing that religion justifies patriarchy by maintaining male dominance and backs up the feminists point that it keeps women in control and stops them from fighting against it. ...read more.


She uses Islam to provide evidence, ?Men are in charge women...hence good women are obedient? The Qur?an, this shows that women are inferior to men as they have to obey their every demand and are like a possession to them. However While religion may be used to oppress women, she argues that it is not the direct cause of their subordination, just men reinterpreting religious beliefs in ways that favour patriarchy. Other feminists also argue that religion is a tool of oppression, such as Jean Holm, where she found that women weren?t allowed to enter places of worship during pregnancy or menstruation. Karen Armstrong sees women?s exclusion from the priesthood of most religions as evidence of their marginalization. Both sociologist show evidence of women?s inferior status and that religion is a patriarchal institution. However feminists have been criticised as not all religions are oppressive, for example, Quakers who are committed to gender equality have never been oppressive to women. Many other sociologists disagree with feminists perspectives and believe that religion liberates women and also. ...read more.


Though feminists would argue that functionalists focus too much on the positives and overlook the oppressive practices in religion. Though both Marxists and feminists believe that religion masks the oppression they do not believe it serves the same people. Marxists as well criticise the feminist view and believe they ignore the fact the religion oppresses the ruling class. Though Marxist feminists share the view that religion is a tool of women?s oppression but under capitalism where the Church reinforces traditional gender roles whilst benefiting the ruling class. Marxists believe the main role of religion is to legitimise and maintain the power of the ruling class by keeping the working class from rising up, doing this by misleading them into believing their suffering will be favoured in the afterlife. However radical and liberal feminists disagree with Marxists and argue that they focus too much on the economic system and ignore women?s inferiority, In conclusion feminists believe the main role and function of religion is to maintain a patriarchy to stop women from uprising against men. They believe religion oppresses women through rituals and worships, sacred texts and practices. However it has been heavily criticised by functionalists and Marxists for being too bias and not considering any positives. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. Evaluate functionalist views on the role and functions of religion today (33)

    to generalise about aboriginal beliefs from this sample, never mind the religion as a whole. In worshipping these totems individuals of society gain a collective consciousness, sharing norms and values and creating consensus. Durkheim believed that by worshipping god, people were actually worshipping society.

  2. Analyse and Evaluate the relationships between religion and social change.

    Religion is used by the ruling class to justify their position. Church and ruling class are mutually reinforcing, however evidence for the traditional Marxist position is biased and tends to be of a documentary nature; looking at the nature of faith and the way in which the religion of the poor concentrates on the afterlife.

  1. Gender Roles

    Gender influences why we try to act this way, we are socialised to believe that women are inferior to men and therefore should try to impress them, with make-up, clothes and other things women obsess over appearances. A postmodern perspective believes that we have gone beyond a stage where we

  2. Assess the nature and extent of secularization in society today. Evidence surrounding church attendance ...

    Relgion is hybrid (eclectic pick and mix), there is choice and consumerism and the use of technology to communicate with a dispersed population is beyond the nation state. This could be regarded as a virtual religion. Religion is a response to post modernity because challenge to objective knowledge undermines the

  1. Are women more religious than men

    Issues concerning this work are also two different methods of research which again raises the issue of time consumption and also being able to interview the men in my church only on Sundays as they are busy throughout the week.

  2. Assess the view that sociological arguments and evidence support functionalist views of the role ...

    rituals such as Princess Diana?s Funeral, but he also comments that these occasions cannot compensate for the deep social divisions in the UK, and that if the UK does have civil religion, it is both sparse, and even then it is very weak.

  1. Functionalist view about the role of religion in today society

    In other word, Functionalists have overestimated the power of religion in keeping the harmony of a society. Moreover, Feminists and Marxists argue that the shared values and beliefs reinforced by religions are not consensus values but those held by dominant social groups (men/ ruling class, respectively).

  2. Assess the usefulness of feminist contributions to our understanding of society today

    are likely unachievable, and also while addressing male violence towards women they fail to address women?s violence against men and even violence within a lesbian family. Marxist feminists dismiss the liberal feminist view that women?s subordination is merely the product of stereotyping or outdated attitudes; they also reject the radical

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work