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

Functionalist perspective on religion

Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  • Essay length: 801 words
  • Submitted: 13/12/2006
Share this essay:
GCSE Sociology

The first 200 words of this essay...

Asses the view that sociological arguments and evidence support functionalists views of the role and functions of religions in contemporary society.

The functionalist perspective on religion is that religion contributes to the fulfilment of social order and stability within society. The functionalists focus on the positive functions of society and what is needed for society to function accordingly.

Emile Durkheim is one of the main functionalist sociologists; he argued that societies divide the world into two parts, the sacred and the profane. To argue his beliefs, Emile studied a religion called totemism in Australian aboriginal culture. In the totemism culture people for clans to which each clan has its own totem, which is their form of identification, (similar to that of religion as we know it, Christianity, Hindu, Jewish etc). The totem is a sacred symbol and is the object of worship. Durkheim expressed that the totem 'is the symbol of God and society, is that not because the God and society are only one?'. From this study, Durkheim argued that society and religion is the same thing. He added that religion promotes social solidarity. Durkheim's study was seen as worship society, yet many critics argued against

Read more
The above preview is unformatted text

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • Over 150,000 essays available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.