Textbook Notes (362,882)
Canada (158,081)
Sociology (1,053)
SOCA02H3 (310)
Chapter 16

Chapter 16 - Religion and Society

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Malcolm Mac Kinnon

Religion and Society Theoretical Approaches to the Sociology of Religion Durkheim, Functionalism, and the Problem of Order Apart from drawing a huge audience, the Stanley Cup playoffs generates a sense of what Durkheim would have called collective effervescence. o The Stanley Cup makes us feel part of something larger than we are. o People enjoy sharing the sentiments and values of a larger collective. They banish thoughts of their own mortality. They gain a glimpse of eternity as they immerse themselves in institutions that will outlast them and athletic feats that people will remember for generations to come. Durkheim said that when people live together, they come to share common sentiments and values that form a collective conscience that is larger than any individuals. We experience the collective conscience directly, which causes us to distinguish the secular, every day world of the profane from the religious, transcendent world of the sacred. We designate certain objects as symbolizing the saved, known as totems. We invent certain public practices to connect us with the sacred, known as rituals. The effect of rituals and of religion as a whole is reinforcing social solidarity. These groups, institutions, and ideas all transcend us. Marx, Conflict, and Religion as a Prop for Inequality Durkheims theory of religion is a functionalist account that offers useful insights into the role of religion in society Conflict theorists have lodged two main criticisms: o It overemphasized religions role in maintain social cohesion; in reality, religion often incites social conflict o When religion does increase social cohesion, it often reinforces social conflict Marx first stressed how religion often tranquilizes the underprivileged into accepting their lot in life. www.notesolution.com
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