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

"Evaluate the view that in contemporary society religion acts as a social glue"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Evaluate the view that in contemporary society religion acts as a social glue" The view in the title is a functionalist's view. Durkheim claims that religion is to do with the sacred and certain things, people and places are perceived to be sacred for example Jesus Christ, totem and the Tajmahal. He claims that what people perceive to be sacred are actually symbols of a collective consciousness. By worshipping these sacred things etc. they are actually reinforcing the beliefs, values, norms and tradition which make social life possible. He says religion reinforces and strengthens social solidarity. Malinowski says that religion meets the psychological needs of people; there are two situations that religion is characteristically involved. The first of these is life crises such as birth and death, these events may lead to uncertainty and religion provides valuable mental attitudes. The second is where the out come is uncertain but important for example the Trobriand islanders and their fishing. ...read more.

Middle

It seems to support social order and threaten punishment for those who resist e.g. St. Paul's letter to the Christians of Rome and the church in medieval Europe teaching that the unequal states were god's creation and anyone who challenged this would be punished by damnation. Today main stream religions still legitimises privilege and inequality by blessing rites to do with royalty such as the coronation and by continuing the presence of the archbishop and the bishops of the Church of England in the House of Lords. According to Marxists religion acts as a form of compensation for the alienation and oppression of the proletariat, it does this by promising rewards e.g. Christians, Muslims and the Jewish are all offered a place in heaven and Hindu's and Buddhists are promised a better life in their next incarnation. So Marxists believe that the main role of religion is to maintain capitalist rule. However this view can be criticised religion does not always reinforce a false consciousness it can also open the eyes of the oppressed and encourage them to take action to end their oppression (Neo-Marxist). ...read more.

Conclusion

husbands, they were required to obey him and they could not divorce him, In some versions of Islam a male may have up to four wives and he may divorce his wife by declaring so three times but a female may not divorce her husband. Feminists claim that religion does not act as a social glue but as an institution of patriarchy and male dominance. However the feminist view can be criticised; Feminists claim that females do not have key positions in religion but in religious history it seems they do for example the Greek goddess Athena was god of war, wisdom and arts and in Hinduism goddesses are important. Although feminists claim that religion does not have that many female professional's many women have developed leadership roles through religion for example Ellen white founded the Seventh Day Adventist church and thousands of women around the world have leadership roles in the Christian Pentecostal movement. Feminist's views of religion provide insight into gender inequality in religion but ignore other aspects of religion and therefore are of limited use. ...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. Evaluate the view that religion acts as a Conservative force in Modern society

    seen as unifying and at the same time dividing and this is where the argument lies. Thomas Cranfield 13 AJB 06th October 2004 Sociology Essay Questions 1a) Identify and explain two reasons why church attenders are predominantly female.

  2. Functionalist views on Religion.

    They tolerate other beliefs. They often have customers rather than members. Many aspects of the New Age movement are based around cults. NRM's In the 1970's there was an emergence of new religions. Wallis categorised these as New Religious Movements.

  1. An investigation and analysis of the role of women in contemporary Islam in the ...

    the complimentary roles a husband and wife play and that they must got together, apart they would have little reason to exist. People in multi-cultural society may have noticed how a large number of Muslim women dress differently from one another, some from head to toe, others in more westernized but unrevealing clothing.

  2. Defining religion.

    frustration that could disrupt social order o Religion answers "man's questions about himself & the world he lives in" o 'Makes sense' of all experiences, no matter how meaningless/contradictory they appear o Provides meaning to events that people don't expect, or find frustrating o Allows intellectual/emotional adjustment o Religion's a

  1. The purpose of this essay is to describe four studies relating to gender each ...

    This illustrates the frequency of these emotions for first-time mothers and the lack of truth in the legacy of childbirth: bonding instincts are natural for and inherent to women. However, this detachment could be due to the fact that after giving birth women are tired, in pain, emotional and drained from the whole experience.

  2. Pitted against Patriarchy

    In constructing a wide range of gendered voices, Moore is still espousing a stereotypically-masculine viewpoint expressed in his interview with Richard B. Sale, often undercutting Judith Hearne's religiosity through ridicule. For example, the protagonist's devotion to the Sacred Heart is given an ironic twist by Moore when she is portrayed

  1. Compare and contrast at least two texts on your course from the point of ...

    He had been completely devoted to his family, generous, unselfcentred and completely loving, even though his father would lie around all day and do nothing. "Denn fur den Vater war das Fruhstuck die wichtigste Mahlzeit des Tages, die er bei der Lekture verschiedener Zeitungen stundenlang hinzog" Gregor concentrated all his

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

    and her secretions becoming the salt, according to Egan's account (Egan, 1994. p.8). Egan's version of the story continues, to state that the sky god then assigned different areas of the earth to be ruled by different gods. Masau is the god of the surface of the earth and the

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