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Religion is simply a brain-washing control device to make individuals behave in the way that the middle class wants them to.'

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Introduction

Rationale 'Religion is simply a brain-washing control device to make individuals behave in the way that the middle class wants them to.' I believe this statement is true and will try to prove it through my research into the functions of religion and why people believe in it. I have chosen to study this particular area because I myself was brought up in a religious junior school and think that religion affects everyone whether you believe in a religion or not. It should be fairly easy to gain access to my sample because I can ask friends, family and other students to fill in my questionnaire. I also think it is very important that everyone understands religious views because even if you don't agree with them yourself, you should try to see other peoples points of view to learn to be tolerant of others opinions. In order to research this I will create 100 questionnaires and ask people aged 15-80 to fill them in for me, the questions will ask about their own beliefs and ideas on the uses of religion, for example some people chose to follow a religion because they believe if you live your life according to the rules of a religion such as Christianity, they will be rewarded in the afterlife. I think 100 people will give a reasonable sample and there is nothing un-ethical about my research because anyone I ask to take part has the right to refuse, also I am being honest about the subject I am researching. ...read more.

Middle

need as I need a variety of people to take part I think this size sample will provide good validity to my research because you need a range of views to gain an accurate picture of what the majority and minority think. The sample will hopefully be a fairly even balance of male and female and any age range can take part (starting at about 15) because anyone over this age should understand the questions and have valid opinions on the topic. My questionnaire is designed to ask people what they think religion can offer to the individual as well as society and weather it's influence on people is a beneficial factor of society or a negative aspect. I will do this through open and closed questions to gain a variety of responses to work with, I will aim to make the open questions as easy to understand as possible perhaps by offering suggestion answers. However this may be difficult because I will have to make sure that the questions are worded in a way that doesn't show any personal bias. Despite this problem I think this is the best method for my research because it is a subject that most people would not have objections to expressing their opinions on and so long as do not appear in favor of any particular way of thinking then there would be no need for anyone in the sample to feel as though their views were in any way inferior to anybody else's responses. ...read more.

Conclusion

I also managed to summaries what the open questions managed to reveal. I had some difficulty in the wording of the questions to begin with because I had phrased them in a way where if you didn't study sociology you may not have understood the question. This therefore limited me slightly in the questions I could ask and I had to cut a couple of questions out of the final copy because of this. Overall I believe the responses matched what I hoped I would find out with the odd exception of the question about female priests because I had assumed more people would of said they should not be allowed since there are so few around at the moment, this showed that the people I asked were mostly more liberal in their thinking. If I was to do this questionnaire again I would ask a bigger sample such as 100 people because I think this sort of size would give much more reliable and valid results. Also I was hoping to look at a range of religions in my study but became restricted to mainly only Christianity, if O did this again I would plan ahead to make sure I found people from a wider range of backgrounds to answer my questionnaire as this would give a better overall picture of the general publics beliefs. ...read more.

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