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Flashcards in Functionalist Theory Deck (13)
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Functionalists, in their theory of Organic analogy, view society as an organism in which religion is one of the institutions, much like the heart in the human body. They believe Religion helps to create.....

Value Consensus, A shared set of norms and values.


What does functionalist 🦆🏠 argue about religion?
+ Analysis point

🦆🏠 Duck-home, Durkheim, agrees that religion is central to maintaining value consensus, order & solidarity.

Analysis - The functionalist argument implies that without value consensus, individual selfishness would cause social disintegration.


What is Durkheim’s S+P theory?

The Sacred and the Profane is a functionalist belief that there is a fundamental distinction between the sacred & the profane.

Sacred: Items that are set-apart & forbidden, inspiring feelings of awe, fear & wonder.

Profane: Ordinary things with no special significance.


What are some application points for Durkheim’s sacred and profane theory?

A ⛹🏻‍♂️🤛 + Application points

An example of the sacred and profane would be the cross in Christianity being sacred but a streetlight being profane and of little significance.

Ultimately Durkheim argues that the Sacred items, through worship, unite society and guide social norms strengthening the C..... C........

The A ⛹🏻‍♂️🤛 A-Run-Ta, Arunta, are an Australian tribe, in Durkheim’s research they were found to worship a totem, symbolising the groups identity and reinforcing the groups solidarity & sense of belonging.


What are some evaluation points for Durkheim’s Sacred and Profane and A⛹🏻‍♂️🤛 theories?

Durkheim’s research on the Arunta, came from secondary sources questioning the validity (Accuracy in what it hopes to measure) and many argue that small-scale clans are unrepresentative of wider society.


What is the functionalist theory of C.......... C...........?

Collective Consciousness, Shared Norms and Values that make cooperation possible, without which society would disintegrate.


What do functionalists argue about S........ R............. R...........?

+ Evaluation point

They argue that Regular shared religious rituals and sacred practices reinforce collective consciousness through social integration, they make individuals feel part of something larger, socialising into society.

+ However some now argue that in large-scale modern multicultural societies, religion may cause more conflict than consensus through differing collective consciences, Durkheim’s theory may explain integration within society but not amongst different communities, which may cause division in society.


What are some Psychological functions of religion?

(✉️ 2018 ⛷)

✉️ 2018 ⛷ Mail-Now-Ski Malinowski argues that religion promotes solidarity by performing phycological functions for individuals, helping them cope with with emotional stress, that would undermine social solidarity.
He believes there are 2 situations where religion performs this role.


What are the 2 situations ✉️ 2018 ⛷ argues religion performs phycological roles?

1) + Case Study
2) + Analysis

1) Where the outcome is important but uncontrollable & uncertain.
In Malinowski’s study of the TROBRIAND ISLANDERS he contrasts the safe lagoon fishing with the dangerous nature of ocean fishing which were blessed by ‘Canoe Magic’ rituals, showing the sense of control religion provides for society and individuals.

2) A times of life crisis, Events such as births, puberty, marriage & especially deaths are examples of disruptive changes, Malinowski argues that religion mitigates against these changes. E.g Bat Mitvaz in Judaism.

Analysis: Religion minimises disruption e.g funerals reinforce solidarity rather than disruption. & the notion of the afterlife comforts the bereaved by denying the fact of death.


What 2 theories does the functionalist P......... identify about religion?

1) It Sacralises societies basic norms and values, promoting value consensus & social stability.
2) It provides a source of meaning, answering ultimate questions about life e.g why do good people suffer, These help people adjust to adverse events, maintaining stability.


What is an application point to P........ sacralisation theory?

Protestantism has sacralised the American core values of individualism, meritocracy and self discipline. BELLAH agrees with Parson arguing that religion unified a multi-faith society like the USA, they argue that this civil religion integrates society together through allegiance to the flag.


What are 6 functionalist religion theory keywords/ case studies?

Value Consensus
The sacred and the profane
Arunta & TROBRIAND Islanders
The collective consciousness


What are the 4 functionalist sociologists in religion?