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SOCIOL 1A06 (735)
Lecture

Religion

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCIOL 1A06
Professor
Sandra Colavecchia
Semester
Winter

Description
January 14, 2014 Sociological Perspective on Religion: Questions Sociology Cannot Address: • There are many spiritual questions that Sociology cannot answer such as: • Does God exist? • Is there life after death? Sociology Does Address: • Are there any social factors that are associated with religiosity? (I.e., age, urban vs. rural  residence, region of country, level of education, gender, employment status)  • New Society Data  • How can we measure religiosity? • How many people in a society: • Would define them selves as religious? • Attend worship services? • Believe in life after death in a society?  • Pray every day? • How has this changed over time? What accounts for these changes? • Cross­national comparisons  • How important is the family? • Why has membership in some religious denominations declined/increased? • Has society become increasingly secular? • What are the main religious denominations in a particular country?  Structural Functionalism  • Religion is functional in meeting societal needs • Durkheim: pre­industrial society characterized by mechanical solidarity; industrial society  characterized by organic solidarity  Conflict Theory (Karl Marx) • Religion is problematic because it is a source of false consciousness for the working­class • Religion is bad because it passives us (the working­class) – revolts us from economic elites • Distracts working class; distracts them from going against capitalists  • Some social historians debate on religions purpose in American slavery (religion provided  different kinds of support/social networking needed for slaves to fight for freedom)  Symbolic Interactionism  • Role played by religious symbols, subjective understandings of religion  • Max Weber: Protestantism allowed capitalism to flourish  • Max Webers book; ..Spirit of Capitalism – making a connection between religion and capitalism –  the reason capitalist first took off in the US and not in other countries is very closely
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