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Functionalist perspective on religion
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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 Durkheim's
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""Yoel Lax. Religious Studies. GCSE Student.
""Jacqueline. Modern Studies and English. GCSE Student