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RELIGION Sociology 101 Religion religions is a universal found in every culture. Religion was defined by Emile Durkheim as a unified system of beliefs and ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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  • Sociology 101

  • religions is a universal found in every culture.
  • Religion was defined by Emile Durkheim as a
    unified system of beliefs and practices relative
    to sacred things
  • Durkheim stressed the social impact of religion
  • Interested in religious behavior within a
    social context

Durkheim and the Sociological Approach to Religion
  • Sacred Elements beyond everyday life that
    inspire awe, respect, and even fear
  • Profane Includes the ordinary and commonplace

  • Functions of Religion
  • Manifest functions
  • Religion defines the spiritual world and gives
    meaning to the divine
  • Religion also provides an explanation for events
    that are difficult to understand
  • the purpose of life,
  • why people suffer, and
  • the existence of an afterlife

Religion - Functionalism
  • Those answers give people a sense of purpose
  • Strengthened by such beliefs, people are less
    likely to collapse in despair when confronted by
    lifes calamities

The Integrative Function of Religion
  • Durkheim viewed religion as an integrative force
    in human society
  • Gives meaning and purpose to peoples lives
  • Gives people ultimate values and ends to hold in
  • Strengthens social integration within specific
    faiths and denominations
  • In some instances, religious loyalties are

Religion and Social Control The Marxist Approach
  • Marx was an atheist who believed that the
    existence of God was an impossibility
  • Marx recognized that religion promoted stability
    within society, but it also perpetuated patterns
    of social inequality
  • According to Marx, religion serves elites, by
    legitimizing the status quo and diverting
    peoples attention from social inequities

Marxist Approach
  • In his view religion often drugged the masses
    into submission by offering a consolation for
    their harsh lives on earth the hope for
    salvation in an ideal after life
  • Marx described religion as "the opiate of the

Table 13-3 Sociological Perspectives on Religion
World Religions
  • Diversity in World Religions
  • 85 percent of the worlds population adheres to
    some religion
  • Christianity is the largest faith around the
    world with about 34 percent of the population.
  • it includes the Roman Catholic Church, the
    numerous Protestant denominations, and the
    Eastern Orthodox Church with over 1.9 billion

World Religions
  • About 85 of worlds population adheres to some
  • Christianity largest single faith, Islam is
  • Monotheistic and impose moral code
  • Differences among religions exceeded by
    variations within faiths

  • the second largest is Islam with about 19
    percent, and is the fastest growing of the major
  • Monotheistic and impose moral code

Figure 13-4 Religions of the World
Table 13-2 Major World Religions
Organization of Religious Behavior
  • An ecclesia is a religious organization claiming
    to include most or all of the members of a
    society and is recognized as the national or
    official religion
  • Ecclesiae are conservative, in general, and do
    not challenge the leaders of a secular government

  • A denomination is a large, organized religion not
    officially linked with the state or government
  • A denomination tends to have an explicit set of
    beliefs, a defined system of authority, and a
    generally respected position in society
  • The United States has the most denominations in
    the world. It is a result of the immigrant

  • Eighty-seven percent of the population identify
    themselves as Christian, and the largest
    Christian denominations is the Roman Catholic
    Church, with about 57 million members.
  • About 80 million people, or 60 percent of the
    religious population are Protestant, but they are
    divided into hundreds of denominations
  • The Southern Baptist Convention, with about 15
    million members is currently the largest
    Protestant denomination

Religious Organization
  • Figure 15.3 Largest Religious Groups in the
    United States by County, 2000

Source D. Jones at al. 2002592.
  • A sect can be defined as a relatively small
    religious group that has broken away from some
    other religious organization to renew what it
    considers the original vision of the faith
  • Sect formation is very common in the U.S.
  • Sects usually exhibit a higher degree of fervor
    and loyalty than more established religious
    groups do
  • To sustain their membership, sects rely on active
    recruitment, of new members

New Religious Movements or Cults
  • New Religious Movement (NRM) Small, secretive
    religious groups that represent either a new
    religion or a major innovation of an existing
  • Similar to sects
  • Tend to be small
  • Viewed as less respectable than more established

Table 13-4 Characteristics of Ecclesiae,
Denominations, Sects, and New Religious Movements
Religious Behavior
  • Religious beliefs statements to which members of
    a particular religion adhere
  • Fundamentalism rigid adherence to fundamental
    religious doctrines
  • Fundamentalism found worldwide among most major
    religious groups

The Secularization of Culture
  • Sociologists use the term secularization of
    culture to refer to a culture that, once heavily
    influenced by religion, has lost much of its
    religious influence
  • The only sphere of influence that religion
    retains in advanced societies is the family
  • It is no longer the primary cohesive force in
    societies, having been replaced by nationalism
    and other secular and political ideologies

Religion in the Schools
  • The Setting
  • First Amendment protects religious freedom
  • In 1987, Supreme Court ruled states could not
    compel the teaching of creationism in public
  • Creationists want Bibles version of creation of
    world taught as the only theory of evolution or
    as an alternative theory

Religion in the Schools
  • Sociological Insights
  • Supporters of school prayer and creationism feel
    there is too much separation in schools between
    the sacred and the profane
  • Opponents argue a religious majority in a
    community might impose viewpoints specific to its
    faith at the expense of religious minorities

Sociological Perspectives on Education
  • Education is social institution that formally
    socializes members of society
  • Number of people age 25 or over with a high
    school diploma increased from 41 in 1960 to more
    than 85 in 2004
  • Those with a college degree rose from 8 in 1960
    to about 28 in 2004

Sociological Perspectives on Education
  • Education is social institution that formally
    socializes members of society
  • Number of people age 25 or over with a high
    school diploma increased from 41 in 1960 to more
    than 86 in 2006
  • Those with a college degree rose from 8 in 1960
    to 28 in 2006

Functionalist View
  • Transmitting Culture
  • Exposing young people to existing beliefs, norms,
    and values of their culture
  • Promoting Social and Political Integration
  • Common identity and social integration fostered
    by education contributes to societal stability
    and consensus

Functionalist View
  • Maintaining Social Control
  • Schools teach students punctuality, discipline,
    scheduling, responsible work habits, and how to
    negotiate a bureaucratic organization
  • Serving as an Agent of Change

Schools serve as a meeting ground where people
can share distinctive beliefs and traditions
Figure 13-1 Percentage of Adults Ages 25 to 64
Who Have Completed Higher Education
Conflict View
  • Education is instrument of elite domination
  • Schools socialize students into values dictated
    by the powerful, stifle individualism and
    creativity, and promote relatively insignificant

Conflict View
  • The Hidden Curriculum Standards of behavior
    deemed proper by society are taught subtly in

Credentialism Increase in the lowest level of
education needed to enter a field
Conflict View
  • Bestowal of Status
  • Schools tend to preserve social class
    inequalities in each new generation
  • Tracking Practice of placing students in
    specific curriculum groups on the basis of test
    scores and other criteria
  • Correspondence principle Promotes values
    expected of individuals in each social class
    perpetuate social class divisions

Feminist Views
  • Treatment of Women in Education
  • In 20th century, sexism in
  • Stereotypes in textbooks
  • Pressure to study traditional womens subjects
  • Unequal funding for athletics
  • Employment bias
  • Women have made strides in continuing education

Interactionist View
  • Labeling approach suggests that if people are
    treated in particular ways, they may fulfill

Teacher-expectation effect Impact of teacher
expectations and their large role on student
Table 13-1 Sociological Perspectives on Education
Bureaucratization of Schools
  • Weber noted five characteristics of bureaucracy
  • Division of labor
  • Hierarchy of authority
  • Written rules and regulations
  • Impersonality
  • Employment based on technical qualifications

Teachers Employees and Instructors
  • Teachers undergo many stresses
  • Between a quarter and a third of new teachers
    quit within their first 3 years
  • Fewer students choose teaching as career due to
    perceived low income
  • In 2007, 4.7 first-year college students were
    interested in elementary education and 4.7 in
    high school education

Student Subcultures
  • In colleges
  • Collegiate subculture
  • Academic subculture
  • Vocational subculture
  • Nonconformist subculture
  • Each student is exposed to competing subcultures
    and must determine which seems most in line with
    his or her feelings and interests

  • More than 2 million children are educated at home
  • Good alternative for children with ADHD and LD
  • Homeschooled children score higher on
    standardized tests
  • Some theorists cite lack of social involvement as

Figure 13-2 Average Salary for Teachers
Figure 13-3 Public High School Graduates by
Race and Ethnicity, 2014 (projected)
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