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SOCA02H3 Chapter Notes -Collective Effervescence, Class Conflict, Civil Religion

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Malcolm Mac Kinnon

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SocioNotes | Chapter 16
Chapter 16: Religion [pgs. 485-490]
Religion helps us cope with the fact that we must die
Durkheim: highlighted the way religion contributes to social order
o Collective effervescence: excites us by making us feel part of something larger
When ppl live together, they come to share common sentiments/values
o Form a collective conscience
o Causes us to distinguish everyday world (profane) from the religious world (sacred)
o We distinguish certain objects symbolizing the sacred, called totems
Ex. Stanley cup
o We invent public practices to connect w/ the sacred, called rituals
Ex. Hockey game
Effect of religion is to reinforce social solidarity
Marx, Conflict, & Religion as a Prop for Inequality
Durkheim’s theory of religion is a functionalist account
Religion incites social conflict
Marx: religion diminishes class conflict→ “the opium of the people”
Civil religion: set of quasi religious beliefs and practices that binds the pop/ justifies way of life
Weber, Social Change & Symbolic Interaction
Stressed the way religion can contribute to social change
o Wrote the Protestant Ethic
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