Assess the View That Religion Inevitably Acts as a Conservative Force in Society

875 WordsMar 28, 20134 Pages
Assess the view that religion inevitably acts as a conservative force in society The main sociological theories all believe religion acts as a conservative force in society in a sense that religion helps keep things the way they are and keep everything stable. However some of these theories may be against the idea that religion acts conservative force for their own reasons. For example Feminism believes that religion acts as a conservative force nevertheless they are against it as they believe it oppresses women by keeping women’s status the same. Functionalists believe religion acts as a conservative force in society and they look have a positive view about it. They are led to believe it creates stability and harmony in society; as…show more content…
His interpretation of religion is more to do with psychological functions for the individual than anything else, in a sense that religion is a psychological need for the individual to deal with certain situations. For example situations which provoke anxiety, uncertainty and threatens social life may result in the individual to turn to religion. In Malinowski’s view, religion acts upon life-crisis which prevents anxiety. As a result, Malinowski agrees with the fact that religion acts as a conservative force as it maintains stability by helping people to deal with anxiety, thereby stopping social disruption. Marxist believe that religion acts inevitably as a conservative force because religion is an ideological state apparatus which spreads capitalist ideas, thus maintains the social hierarchy, and in doing so maintains harmony and consensus in society. This is reinforced by Marx who claims religion is the opium of the people hence religion dulls the pain of oppression for them. Marx claims that religion is still a conservative force as through the use of ideology it justifies the oppression of the proletariat e.g. in the hymn ‘rich man at his castle the poor man at his gate, god made them high and ordered their estate’. This suggests god created inequality; as a result

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