• 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. Functionalist views on Religion.

    Claim to provide access to supernatural or spiritual powers. * Accept the world as it is. They offer the follower the potential to be successful in terms of the dominant values of society by unlocking spiritual powers with the individual. * Followers carry on their normal lives * E.g.

  1. 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.

  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. Defining religion.

    o It helps humans make sense of all experiences - can cope with horrible/horrendous situations o Stops people feeling angry towards others & upsetting society o Apparent injustices of life can make life appear meaningless o Core values in society are given additional force & power because they're part of

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

    They are beliefs, culture of society, and social location of religion and internal organisations of religious institutions. Functionalists and Marxists dismiss the possibility that religion can cause changes in society. They believe religion acts as a conservative force and that it is in changes in society that shape religion and not vice versa.

  1. In what sense is Burke the founder of modern British Conservative thought?

    The British constitution, not being written down, or 'imprisoned in words'4, had a dynamic element, which operated as a safety valve. Burke accepted that a "state without means of correction was also a state without the mean of conservation"5. This was epitomised by the absolutism in France, the stubborn resistance

  2. What Civil Society Can Do to Develop Democracy

    While in this Section we have focused specifically on civil society organizations as they relate to democratic development, civil society also plays a key role in all aspects of community development and outreach. Health, education, welfare, sport, the arts, business - each can be seen as different aspects of non-governmental, civil, society.

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