• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11

Assess the view that religion acts as a conservative force on society.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Sociology Essay Assess the view that religion acts as a conservative force on society. Even though sociologists do not have a true definition of religion they believe that religion is a belief in the supernatural. Some sociologists believe that religion acts as a conservative force. A conservative force is something that prevents change within society and also maintains the status quo. Functionalist believes that religion is a conservative force. Durkhiem believes that everybody shares the same beliefs and values that are represented by sacred symbols. Durkhiem would argue that religion acts as a conservative force as it reinforces the collective conscious. Durkhiem would argue that as people worship in church they are worshiping a set of values that society shares. Therefore the collective conscious is reinforced and status quo is maintained. Durkhiem's study of the Australian aborigines "totemism" showed that they had sacred symbol in which they worshiped, this is the totem pole. He argued that when the aborigines worshiped the totem they were worshiping society. This reinforced the collective conscious and unified the group and allowed the status quo to be maintained. ...read more.

Middle

Parsons another functionalist would ague that religion provides answers to question that appear to be unanswerable, for example when villains seem to be getting away with crimes others question themselves why don't they turn to crime. They are then reminded that if they lead a good life they go to heaven and those who lead a life of crime go to hell. Bellah argues that in countries were there is large diversity people come together and worship there own country, this unites different groups and helps maintain the status quo of the particular country. This is known as civil religion. I realise that functionalist provide interesting facts about religion many sociologist criticise them as they think that it is difficult to see how religion can be functioning to socialise the majority of society's members into morality and social integration if only a minority of people regularly attend church. Functionalists are also criticised as religion often has dysfunctional consequences. Rather than binding people together, many of the world's conflicts have been caused by religion for example in Northern Ireland there is conflict between Protestants and Catholics. ...read more.

Conclusion

An interactionist called Berger believes that as there is now a lot more computers and updated technology, the behaviour of society is not governed by religion. This is known as "modernity". Rationalization now explains most of society's modern world. Rational behaviour can explain things a lot more scientifically. Modern society's are now far more geographically mobile and have a lot more wide spread electronic media for example the internet. This has made a lot more people aware of alternative solutions than always depending upon god. Therefore they are less likely to have behaviour governed by god, this leads to social change. As there is now a large amount of religions that exist in society people believe that it is better to not have a religion at all, Berger argues that this leads to anomie as religion no longer provides the meaning to life. Nelson a sociologist also believes that religion does not act as conservative. He argues that religion creates most of the problems that occur within society, for example the conflict between two religions in Northern Ireland (protestant and catholic) Nelson believes that religion is the source of much unrest. Therefore as religion is the cause of unrest within society it does not help to maintain the status quo. Toni McCall ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology 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 GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Assess the view that religion is a conservative force within society (40).

    5 star(s)

    He decided to study the Australian Aboriginal society as it was simpler to study that complex westernised societies and therefore the effects of religion on that society were more apparent and obvious and therefore were easier to record. All societies, he argued, were primitive at one time and developed societies

  2. Evaluate the view that religion acts as a Conservative force in Modern society

    Marx hypothesised based on his observations of the world that eventually the proletariat would become aware of their false class conscience and the ideological state apparatus that was holding their position and then they would rebel. This was called the polarization of the classes.

  1. Evaluate the view that religion acts as a conservative force in modern society.

    Neither of their assumption is provable. They are also many instances where religion has had a change promoting effect. Feminism argues that religion creates conflict and division through the patriarchal ideology. The rituals in religion often exclude women from it. The religious teaching portrays women as second class in society.

  2. Is religion a force for social change?

    be wasted on personal luxuries and therefore the only channel for it was re-investment. Weber argued that many people in the industrial north of Europe were Calvinists and he concluded from this fact that the Calvinist belief system had had a massive economic impact (was a radical force)

  1. Functionalist views on Religion.

    No paid hierarchy-charismatic leader. Non bureaucratic. Relationship to state: Close relationship-Queen is head of state and Church Does not identify with the state, approves of separation between the 2. Opposes the state and society Attitude to wider society Members can play a full part in social life.

  2. Evaluate the view that Religion acts as a conservative force in modern society.

    Marx has always believe that Religion acts as a 'social opium' in the sense that people in the subject class don't question their position as the ruling class constantly offer false promises, in Religions case, Heaven in the afterlife. The illusion of happiness that is given to the subject allows them to believe life is more bearable, discourage social change.

  1. What Civil Society Can Do to Develop Democracy

    Examples of civil society institutions: * non-governmental organizations (NGOs) * private voluntary organizations (PVOs) * peoples' organizations * community-based organizations * civic clubs * trade unions * gender, cultural, and religious groups * charities * social and sports clubs * cooperatives * environmental groups * professional associations * academia * businesses * policy institutions * consumers/consumer organizations * the

  2. How far is religion a radical or a conservative force?

    Durkheim believed that religion gave meaning and purpose. The strength of Durkheim was that he linked religion into society and put it into social context however his link to religion was to scared things just as a totem pole and not supernatural beliefs, this therefore makes the boundary of religion much wider and beings in ideas that are irrelevant.

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