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Sociological Perspectives on Religion

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By kvanrheen
Words 550
Pages 3
Sociological Perspectives on Religion
Kember Leighton
Soc. 101
Emily Archer
September 14, 2009

Abstract
Structural functionalism is a theory or sociological perspective that sees society as essentially functionally integrated. As will be discussed in this paper, conflict theory contrasts with structural functionalism in that it views society as an amalgam of conflicting interests. Structural functionalism therefore posits a model or interpretation of society that emphasizes harmony and supportive interaction between the various societal structures. To expand on this distinction, structural functionalism is seen as a "... theoretical approach to focusing on the structures of society and their functional significance for other structures.”

Religion What social purpose does religion serve? Does it help to hold society together or foster change? This paper gives a brief description of sociological perspectives on religion. First, you will read about Durkheims Functionalism. Second about Marxs Conflict and last, you will read about Webers Interactionism and how they impact religion.

Durkheim defined religion as an “undefined system of beliefs and practices relative o sacred things.” Durkheim believed functionalism promotes social solidarity through common symbols, beliefs, norms and collective rituals and that it provides emotional comfort, support, morale and motivation. Also that it may also provide a sense of individual and group identity.

Religion is a fascinating subject to study because it is a cultural universal where expression can be manifested in so many ways. An example, Christians worship one God and base their beliefs and values on the life and works of Jesus Christ. Worldwide, tremendous diversity exists in religion beliefs and practices

Marx viewed religion as a weapon by which the privileged maintained…...

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