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"Religion is essentially a Conservative Force in Society." Explain and discuss this statement.

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  • Essay length: 1157 words
  • Submitted: 23/10/2003
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GCSE Sociology

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"Religion is essentially a Conservative Force in Society." Explain and discuss this statement.

Describing Religion as a 'Conservative Force' seems to imply that Religion is an inhibitor of social change and used as a means by which to maintain the existing order of Society and the Status Quo. Some Sociologists such as Durkheim and Marx would agree with this and there are others who would argue against such a claim. It is a debate, one side says Religion inhibits change and the other says it sets social change in motion.

As already mentioned Durkheim believed that Religion acts as a Conservative Force. In more detail what he actually thought was that Religious worship is like worshipping Society, in other words the beliefs in religion actually strengthen the values of the Society from which Religion originates. Durkheim used the practice of Totemism among Australian Aborigines as an example, the Totem pole is a sacred object and each clan has an individual symbol on the Totem. The carvings on the pole are incredibly meaningful to that Society, everything from the group's history to it's very existence is invested in the pole (Not unlike the Church's significance in

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