This post is A summary of the key ideas of the main Functionalist theorists of religion: Durkheim, Parsons and Malinowski. The functionalist perspective, also called functionalism, is one of the major theoretical perspectives in sociology. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your account. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. He argued that that religion reinforces collective conscience that leads to a unity within society as a whole and that each member of the society is joined in solidarity, therefore it acts as glue. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Unlike Durkheim does not see religion as reflecting society as a whole, nor does he see religious ritual as ‘worshipping society’. It gives the parents a, Parsons saw the function of religion to be that it provides, Parsons also saw religion as helping individuals to cope with. Religious symbols are simultaneously symbols of God and Society, and thus when people worship religion they are also ‘worshipping society’, religious symbols serve as a simplified representation of a more complex whole, reminded individuals that they are merely small and part of a much ‘bigger picture’. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Like Malinowski Parsons saw religious beliefs and rituals as helping maintain social order in times of social change (such as death) and to help individuals make sense of unpredictable events. Eight mind maps covering the sociological perspectives on beliefs in society. Religion promotes value consensus: many legal systems are based on religious morals for example. Functionalists view religion in a positive way; they see religion to play the function of maintaining harmony and social cohesion. Secularisation means that religion performs fewer functions today: thus functionalism may be less relevant. Firstly it provides a sense of being part of something greater than just yourself, for example in the Christian faith, when someone becomes a Christian they are then part of a bigger Christian family this can also provide support for an individual in times of trouble. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. The functionalist perspective is essentially concerned with analysing the role of religion… Three 10 mark ‘outline and explain’ practice exam  questions and model answers, Three 10 mark ‘analyse using the item’ 10 practice exam questions and answers. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Functionalism views of religion-Society as an organism, basic needs it must meet to survive -Societies most basic need is social order/solidarity = value consensus makes this possible-Durkheim (1915) - religious institutions maintain value consensus, social order/solidarity. Malinowski also looked at how religion can support and help us to deal with issues that cause emotional stress and tension such as births and deaths; Births; Christenings give parents an idea of extra protections of their child by a supreme being. Ignores the role religion can play in promoting social change. This is a work in progress, please click the links above for more detailed posts! Three 30 mark essay questions and extended essay plans. Studied Totemism among Australian Aboriginal clans in which the sacred totem represented different clans. Beliefs can help people ‘make sense’ of death for example and can act as a source of catharsis for the bereaved. A level sociology revision – education, families, research methods, crime and deviance and more! The functionalist view of religion stems from Durkheim who said that society is like the human body. Religion does not always promote harmony: it can promote conflict: there may be conflicts within religion, or between religions for example. Functionalist Theory. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. ( Log Out /  ( Log Out /  evaluating functionalist views of religion Some, such as P. Worsley (1956) have criticised Durkheim’s study of the Arunta from an anthropological and theological perspective, suggesting that he misunderstood certain aspects of the religion, particularly the idea of the separation between the sacred and profane and the significance of totems. Why use a totem? Religion reinforces a sense of belonging and shared identity to society. Religion helps people deal with situations which they cannot predict or control – e.g. Regular shared religious rituals reinforce the collective conscience and maintain, Religion is a source for our intellectual or. Britain’s recent involvement in torture – a good example of a ‘state crime’. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Religious rituals also help society through the disruption to social order caused by life changing events such as death. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This ritual gives the islanders a sense of control and confidence which reinforces. The elements of functionalist thought in sociology are found in the works of Auguste Comte and Emile Durkheim. Functions of Religion. Durkheim called this, Aboriginal societies divide themselves up into. The functionalist perspective, which originates from Emile Durkheim’s work on religion, highlights the social role of religion. These cookies do not store any personal information. Useful because civil religion integrates society in a way that individual religions cannot. The functionalist perspective sees religion as mainly a conservative force, promoting social harmony, social integration and social solidarity through the reinforcement of the value consensus — a widespread agreement around the main values of a society which is the basis of social order. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. If you like this sort of thing then you might like my ‘beliefs in society’ revision bundle. Modern day examples include; praying for a sick family member/ a member of the armed forces. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. ( Log Out /  52 Pages of revision notes covering the entire AQA ‘beliefs in society’ specification: from perspectives on religion, organisations, class, gender ethnicity and age and secularisation, globalisation and fundamentalism. The Functionalist Perspective on Religion: Summary Revision Notes According to Functionalism, religion acts as a conservative force by reinforcing social norms and promoting social solidarity.


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