SOC 233 Sept. 23, 2011
Theory of Religion
1. Religion was an expression of social cohesion.
2. Religion: System of symbols through which society becomes conscious of itself.
3. Development of Religion requires:
a. A set of religious beliefs.
b. A set of rituals.
c. A church or a single overarching moral community.
Four Major Functions of Religion:
1. Disciplinary function.
3. Vitalization: Boosts one’s “spirits.”
4. Sense of euphoria.
Note – Durkheim thought religion was a form of social cohesion, which holds complex societies
Note – In the past, religion had been the cement of society – the means by which men had been led to
turn from the everyday concerns in which they were variously enmeshed to a common devotion to
Sacred: Non-material collective representation or objects which a religion believes to hold divine power
eg) Totem pole in Aboriginal faith, crucifix in Catholicism.
Symbolic meaning which is established through an object.
Durkheim & Education
Main Function of Education:
1. Providing moral guidance; collective morality through education.
2. Transmission of society’s norms and values. Q – How does education teach us the norms and values in society?
Education functions as a regulator to allow us to become more integrated.
eg) How to treat other people, proper social behaviour.
Educational institution serves as a functional tool in society which provides mo