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SOCA01H3 (480)
Chapter 16

Sociology Chapter 16 (pg. 411-18) .docx

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Robert Brym

Chapter 16 pp 411-18 Theoretical Approaches to the Sociology of Religion Durkheim’s Functionalist Approach  Hockey is Canada’s “national religion” with 80% of people tuning in the hockey game between Canada and U.S. at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.  Stanley Cup Playoffs generate Durkheim’s collective effervesce - excites us by making us feel part of something larger  the spirit of Canada  gain a glimpse of eternity as we immerse ourselves in institutions  Durkheim said: o Collectiveconscience – comprises the common sentiments and values that people share as a result of living together.  We experience it directly  causes us to distinguish the profane – refers to the secular, everyday world from the sacred – refers to the religious, transcendent world. o We label totems – objects that symbolize the sacred o We invent rituals – public practices designed to connect people to the sacred  reinforce social solidarity  Losing city’s hockey team causing men commit suicide during the hockey series Durkheim’s theory of suicide = predicts a lower suicide rate when social solidarity increases  Durkheim considers o Totems are the Stanley Cup and team insignia – represent groups we identify with o Trophy signifies the qualities that professional hockey stands for o Hockey games are public rituals enacted according to rules and conventions. We reenact these rituals and we get a sense of belonging to certain groups, respect for institutions and belief in ideas. These groups, institutions and ideas all transcend us. o Stanley cup is a “sacred event” Religion, Feminist Theory, and Conflict Theory  Durkheim’s theory of religion is a functionalist account. o Insights into the role of religion in society:  1. It over emphasizes religion’s role in maintaining social cohesion  REALITY: religion incites social conflict  2. Ignores that when religion does increase social cohesion  reinforces social inequality. Religion and Social Inequality  Social conditions  rise to the first world religions Judaism and Hinduism, 3800 to 400 years ago  Impulse to find a better world is encouraged by adversity  rise of Buddhism, Christianity and Islam between 2700 and 1500 years ago.  Moses, Jesus, Muhammad and Buddha promoted equality and freedom  Over time  routinization of charisma – Weber’s term for the transformation of divine enlightenment into a permanent feature of everyday life. o Religion inspiration turned to stable social institution with defined roles  religion less responsive to the needs of ordinary people and supports social inequalities and injustices. Religion and the Subordination  Marx stressed how religion tranquillizes the underprivileged into accepting their lot in life. Religion is “the opium of the people.”  Marx’s interpretation of the subordination of women: o New Testament  women should be kept silent in churches, considered “shameful” o Siddur (Jewish) prayer  Thank you Lord who did not make
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