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sociological approach to the study of religion

Read British historian Niall Ferguson’s view at http://openstaxcollege.org/l/Protestant_work_ethic. Subject:Sociology Paper: Religion and society. For example, it helps answer questions like, “How was the world created?” “Why do we suffer?” “Is there a plan for our lives?” and “Is there an afterlife?” As another function, religion provides emotional comfort in times of crisis. What does the concept of work ethic mean today? Conflict theorists are critical of the way many religions promote the idea that believers should be satisfied with existing circumstances because they are divinely ordained. Four main reasonshave been suggested for this (Frankenberry & Thie 1994: 2–4). are licensed under a, Pop Culture, Subculture, and Cultural Change, Introduction to Society and Social Interaction, Introduction to Deviance, Crime, and Social Control, Global Implications of Media and Technology, Theoretical Perspectives on Media and Technology, Social Stratification in the United States, Introduction to Social Stratification in the United States, Social Stratification and Mobility in the United States, Theoretical Perspectives on Social Stratification, Theoretical Perspectives on Global Stratification, Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination, Introduction to Gender, Sex, and Sexuality, Theoretical Perspectives on Government and Power, Theoretical Perspectives on Health and Medicine, Population, Urbanization, and the Environment, Introduction to Population, Urbanization, and the Environment, Introduction to Social Movements and Social Change, The Protestant Work Ethic in the Information Age, Functionalists believe religion meets many important needs for people, including group cohesion and companionship. He believed religion reflects the social stratification of society and that it maintains inequality and perpetuates the status quo. not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University. Modern academic sociology began with the study of religion in Emile Durkheim’s 1897 The Study of Suicide in which he explored the differing suicide rates among Protestants and Catholics. Social scientists recognize that religion exists as an organized and integrated set of beliefs, behaviors, and norms centered on basic social needs and values. From this perspective, religion serves several purposes, like providing answers to spiritual mysteries, offering emotional comfort, and creating a place for social interaction and social control. After a period of unqualified individualism it has reminded us of the importance of corporate religion. The traditional focuses of sociology have included social stratification, social class, culture, social mobility, religion, secularization, law, and deviance. Religion could not be understood apart from the capitalist society that perpetuated inequality. Marxist Perspective On Religion And Liberation Theology. A standard definition of religion in sociology is that it is: A set of general explanations about existence which includes the supernatural. To interactionists, beliefs and experiences are not sacred unless individuals in a society regard them as sacred. Consider a religion that you are familiar with, and discuss some of its beliefs, behaviors, and norms. Commentators on religious experience disagree on the significance ofphenomenological considerations. By this reasoning, even if traditional religion disappeared, society wouldn’t necessarily dissolve. Ellway, P. 2005. “The Rational Choice Theory of Religion: Shopping for Faith or Dropping your Faith?” Retrieved February 21, 2012 (http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/religion/overview.php). Despite their different views, these social theorists all believed in the centrality of religion to society. For Durkheim, religion was a force for cohesion that helped bind the members of society to the group, while Weber believed religion could be understood as something separate from society. He famously argued that religion “is the opium of the people” (1844). The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book Second, in the twentiethcentury, once philosophy of religion was … The theory doesn’t address many aspects of religion that individuals may consider essential (such as faith) and further fails to account for agnostics and atheists who don’t seem to have a similar need for religious explanations. Critics also believe this theory overuses economic terminology and structure and point out that terms such as “rational” and “reward” are unacceptably defined by their use; they would argue that the theory is based on faulty logic and lacks external, empirical support. citation tool such as, Authors: Heather Griffiths, Nathan Keirns. And if there is, do we have areliable vocabulary to describe it? He examined the effects of religion on economic activities and noticed that heavily Protestant societies—such as those in the Netherlands, England, Scotland, and Germany—were the most highly developed capitalist societies and that their most successful business leaders were Protestant. For instance, in every culture, funeral rites are practiced in some way, although these customs vary between cultures and within religious affiliations. One of the most important functions of religion, from a functionalist perspective, is the opportunities it creates for social interaction and the formation of groups. The theory proposes that people are self-interested, though not necessarily selfish, and that people make rational choices—choices that can reasonably be expected to maximize positive outcomes while minimizing negative outcomes. http://openstaxcollege.org/l/immanent_frame/, http://openstaxcollege.org/l/Grinnell_functionalism, http://openstaxcollege.org/l/women_clergy, http://openstaxcollege.org/l/Protestant_work_ethic, http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/religion/overview.php, http://personal.lse.ac.uk/KANAZAWA/pdfs/ARS1997.pdf, http://cnx.org/contents/02040312-72c8-441e-a685-20e9333f3e1d/Introduction_to_Sociology_2e, Discuss the historical view of religion from a sociological perspective, Understand how the major sociological paradigms view religion. Social theorist Émile Durkheim defined religion as a “unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things” (1915). Religion could not be understood apart from the capitalist society that perpetuated inequality. RCT proposes that, in a pluralistic society with many religious options, religious organizations will compete for members, and people will choose between different churches or denominations in much the same way they select other consumer goods, balancing costs and rewards in a rational manner. Then, research a religion that you don’t know much about. Finally, religion promotes social control: It reinforces social norms such as appropriate styles of dress, following the law, and regulating sexual behavior. Discuss how these meet social needs. The theory doesn’t address many aspects of religion that individuals may consider essential (such as faith) and further fails to account for agnostics and atheists who don’t seem to have a similar need for religious explanations. It provides social support and social networking and offers a place to meet others who hold similar values and a place to seek help (spiritual and material) in times of need. 1975. Despite differences, there are common elements in a ceremony marking a person’s death, such as announcement of the death, care of the deceased, disposition, and ceremony or ritual. How does one pick a church or decide which denomination “fits” best? Glencoe, IL: Free Press. The feminist perspective is a conflict theory view that focuses specifically on gender inequality. Many religions, including the Catholic faith, have long prohibited women from becoming spiritual leaders. Factory jobs tend to be simple, uninvolved, and require very little thinking or decision making on the part of the worker. 1947 [1915]. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Weber thought the emphasis on community in Catholicism versus the emphasis on individual achievement in Protestantism made a difference. Ritzer, George. Weber noted that certain kinds of Protestantism supported the pursuit of material gain by motivating believers to work hard, be successful, and not spend their profits on frivolous things. A scientific explanation for why something occurs can’t reasonably be supported by the fact that it does occur. After a clarification of the concept of society, it examines whether we can meaningfully speak of a ‘world society’. Religion, in fact, depends on society for its existence, value, and significance, and vice versa. It has helped to correct the rationalistic prejudice that only the intellectual expression of religious experience counts. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons). As stated earlier, French sociologist Émile Durkheim (1858–1917) defined religion as a “unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things” (1915). Division of Labor in Society. Functionalists contend that religion serves several functions in society. It then addresses some methodological issues that are crucial for approaches that focus on social action, be it in the internal or the external arena. Functionalism, conflict theory, and interactionism all provide valuable ways for sociologists to understand religion. During times of recession, these service jobs may be the only employment possible for younger individuals or those with low-level skills. Sociology is one such approach that this essay will be looking at through its founding fathers Emile Durkheim, Max Weber and Karl Marx. First, from theseventeenth to the nineteenth century, the perspective of whiteEuropean males dominated the formative period of philosophy ofreligion to such an extent that it was hard to see how the distortionsof this long tradition might be overcome. The Sociological Study of Religion. Interactionists are interested in what these symbols communicate. The McDonaldization of Society. Outline and assess one of the main approaches to the study of religions. Barkan, Steven E., and Susan Greenwood. Some form of religion is found in every known culture, and it is usually practiced in a public way by a group. By applying the methods of natural science to the study of society, Durkheim held that the source of religion and morality is the collective mind-set of society and that the cohesive bonds of social order result from common values in a society. The Sociological Approach to Religion. then you must include on every physical page the following attribution: If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a digital format, In the chapter, “Sociological Approaches”, … Critics of RCT argue that it doesn’t fit well with human spiritual needs, and many sociologists disagree that the costs and rewards of religion can even be meaningfully measured or that individuals use a rational balancing process regarding religious affiliation. Religious experience refers to the conviction or sensation that we are connected to “the divine.” This type of communion might be experienced when people are pray or meditate. Contribution to Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. Let’s explore how scholars applying these paradigms understand religion. The Immanent Frame is a forum for the exchange of ideas about religion, secularism, and society by leading thinkers in the social sciences and humanities. Another illustration of religious beliefs is the creation stories we find in different religions. Rewards are the intangible benefits in terms of belief and satisfactory explanations about life, death, and the supernatural, as well as social rewards from membership. Religion describes the beliefs, values, and practices related to sacred or spiritual concerns.

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