Textbook Notes (368,125)
Canada (161,663)
Sociology (1,513)
SOC100H5 (538)
Chapter 10

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Nathan Innocente

Chapter 10Today the education system is the main purveyor of formal knowledge and the most important agent of socialization apart from the familyOur chief concerns are low academic performance lack of discipline and respect the future employability of students and equality of opportunitySome say that education promotes upward mobility Others argue that education reproduces inequality generation after generation As you will see the evidence offers stronger support for the second argumentApart from drawing a huge audience the Stanley Cup playoffs generate a sense of what Durkheim would have called collective effervescence That is the Stanley Cup finals excite us by making us feel part of something larger than us the Montreal Canadiens the Edmonton Oilers the Toronto Maple Leafs the Vancouver Canucks the Calgary Flames the Ottawa Senators the institution of Canadian hockey the spirit of Canada itself Durkheim said that when people live together they come to share common sentiments and values These common sentiments and values form a collective consciencethat is larger than any individual is On occasion we experience the collective conscience directly This causes us to distinguish the secular everyday world of the profanefrom the religious transcendent world of the sacredWe designate certain objects as symbolizing the sacred Durkheim called these objects totemsWe invent set practices to connect us with the sacred Durkheim referred to these practices as rituals The effect or function of rituals and of religion as a whole is to reinforce social solidarity said Durkheim The ritual heightens our experience of group belonging increases our respect for the groups institutions and strengthens our belief in the validity of the groups culture So in Durkheims terms the Stanley Cup playoffs share certain features with religious rituals They cement society in the way Durkheim said all religious rituals doThese patterns are consistent with Durkheims theory of suicide which predicts a lower suicide rate when social solidarity increasesDurkheims theory of religion is a functionalist account It offers useful insights into the role of religion in society Yet conflict and feminist theorists lodge two main criticisms against it First it overemphasizes religions role in maintaining social cohesion In reality religion often incites social conflict Second it ignores the fact that when religion does increase social cohesion it often reinforces social inequality
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