Religion and Sociology

Religion and Sociology

Critically assess the argument that religion necessarily acts as a conservative force in society. Although religion varies from culture to culture – some are very religious while others are more secularists – Functionalist sociologists still see religion as an institution that fulfils a need in society. Functionalists believe that religion acts as an important part of secondary solicitation; it teaches individuals about norms and values. For example, it teaches children about right and wrong. The functionalist Druthers argues that these norms and values create social cohesion by giving individuals something in common.

The functionalist Mammalians argues that acts as reassurance during times of crisis. It gives people that there is still some control in their lives. Mammalians focuses on the Way that religion fulfils a need to help individuals make sense of unexplainable things. This keeps society in order. However, Marxist argue that religion only serves the ruling class. Marxist believe that religion justifies the bourgeoisies power over the proletarians by making the poor believe that it is there own fault that they are suffering and giving them false hope of a reward after death. By doing this, religion stops the working class room rebelling.

Therefore, both Functionalists and Marxist believe that religion plays a major role in society, but Marxist think that there would be no need for religion if capitalism was over-come. Even though Weber agrees with the Marxist view that religion serves the needs of Capitalism by promoting the values that allow it to thrive, he also states that the development of modern society means an increase in the belief in science and therefore a decline in the belief of religion. Weber suggests that science has produced answers to questions that were previously answered by religion.

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