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

'Durkheim's view that religion reinforces the conscience of society is more appropriate to an understanding of small non-literate societies than it is to modern diversified societies'.

Extracts from this document...


'Durkheim's view that religion reinforces the conscience of society is more appropriate to an understanding of small non-literate societies than it is to modern diversified societies' Durkheim said that religion was a 'unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, tat is to say, things set apart and forbidden - beliefs ad practices which unite into one single moral community called a church, all those who adhere to them'. This was the most useful and in-depth definition of religion, as it concentrates on religious practice and a central ingredient, it allows comparisons between societies to be made and it also does not question the truth of religious belief Durkheim believed that social life was impossible without the shared values and moral beliefs, which together form the 'collective conscience'. ...read more.


He conducted his research on the Trobiland Islanders, where before fishing in the sea, religious ceremonies were conducted. Malwinowski disagreed that religion is the worship of society, but his research is similar to Durhkheim's, as it cannot be applied to western society. Parsons was another functionalist sociologist, but he described religion as a cultural system that 'provides more general guidelines for action in the form of beliefs, values and systems of meanings'. He believed that religion helped the consensus of society by establishing principles and moral beliefs, and that it can address problems in all societies. He used the example of the Ten Commandments, which are accepted by everyone as being 'right', but this is not true of many other cultures and societies. He also ignores problems between religions in the same society, and did not conduct any research at all. ...read more.


Turner did not think religion was important in modern society, as wealth is not just land ownership, and is often invested in the stock market, and other such things. Also he sees secularisation taking place, and therefore not producing the false class consciousness A completely opposite view of Functionalism and Marxism is that of Feminism, who see religion as having a base in patriarchal ideology. To see this, they say you only need to look at the bible, where most prophets and teachers, were male, in Timothy I in the bible, it says that no females should teach in the house of the Lord, and religious organisations allow gender inequalities through beliefs they develop in which women play a subsidiary role. Both Marxist and Feminist writers argue with Durkheim's belief that religion reinforces the conscience of society, and his research is undermined by the fact it cannot be used to help understand religions role in modern society, but only in small non-literate societies ...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. Compare and Contrast 'Overcoat' By Ghulam Abbas and 'The Blue Donkey' By Suniti Namjoshi ...

    the silkiest white because she was never white and she could never be white. However, this party thought it would be better if she turned herself grey, as it would be better so no one will be offended. The first party thought the donkey was being blue on purpose.

  2. Pakistani Women In a Changing Society.

    They do not seem to be able to resist the temptation to interfere with and manhandle women, posing as guardians of public virtue. Violence against women has been on the increase behind the cloak of 'Islamisation'. The most obscene examples of such hypocrisy are numerous, widely publicised, incidents where women's

  1. Assess The Feminist View That Conventional Malestream Theories Are Inadequate For An Understanding Of ...

    The researcher must attempt to remain detached. Feminists have found it difficult to carry out research that lives up to the demands of the qualitative methodology. This is because most of the female researchers have received training within malestream assumptions.

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

    Even today with changing legislation and social attitudes many churches are incredibly reluctant to alter their traditions. Women were not allowed to become priests or rectors until very recently, 1992, because it was believed that only a man could offer the link between the people and God.

  1. What Civil Society Can Do to Develop Democracy

    people get along best when their mutual rights are respected, leading to laws that treat all citizens alike. Martin Luther and John Calvin Martin Luther and John Calvin founded the Protestant religion at the beginning of the Renaissance period as a protest against the authority of the Roman Catholic Church, which they viewed as being corrupt.

  2. Homophobia: a Definition

    do not perform aggressively enough or dominant enough to meet peer standards of being an acceptable boy are taunted as "sissies" (i.e., too girl-like to be `real' boys).

  1. The God of Small things critique

    In much the same way Jhabvala demonstrates the found understanding of the narrator of "Heat and Dust" through the positive outcome of the story. She is left with limitless possibilities, choosing "even if I should want to" exactly what she wishes to do with the future.

  2. The Influence and Role of Religion In Hopi Society.

    This belief in an afterlife has an all-encompassing affect on the Hopi people and their lives in the present fourth world. Great care must be taken by all not to break any taboos that may offend the gods. All ceremony and ritual offerings must be undertaken in the proper, ascribed manner.

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