Karl Marx’s view of society was based around the economy. All other social structures according to Marx, such as religion, family values, and politics stem from the base, the economy. Religion played no part at all in Marx’s sociological views. He is known as an atheist. He believed that religion was nothing more than a burden on society. “The
Weber argues that religious beliefs contributed to major social change- specifically the emergence of modern capitalism in Northern Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. Modern capitalism differs from capitalism as it is based on systematic, efficient and a rational pursuit of profit and profit for its own sake rather than consumption. Weber calls this the spirit of capitalism.
Two names that are repeatedly mentioned in sociological theory are Karl Marx and Max Weber. In some ways these two intellectuals were similar in the way they looked at society. There are also some striking differences. In order to compare and contrast these two individuals it is necessary to look at each of their ideas. Then a comparison of their views can be illustrated followed by examples of how their perspectives differ from each other.
Ordinarily, religion is one of the rationales of social orientations, that in one way or another influences the society’s social stability. This is because religion is the impelling force for regulations in the society as well as a destabilizing drive for transformation. Marx Weber together with Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim were very influential personalities in the course of the 19th century, and even now. In one way or another, these persons attempted to make plain as well as comprehensible social change, particularly in the aspect of religion in the society. Their perspectives on religion differ on some aspects. Even though their views on religion are diverse, they all seem to be in accord that
The two theorists i’ve decided to compare and contrast are Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim. Firstly i’ll compare them to one another. From all the readings I did and past education on these individuals I found they have a lot of the same views in regards to religion. Both Emlie Durkheim and Karl Marx believe that religion is a projection of mans hopes and desires. They both also agree that religion plays a powerful role in influencing the members of a society. While coming up with these theories they were both more concerned with the human rather than the religion. Both of them did not believe in a god or gods. It’s been said that Marx saw god as idealization of human nature while Durkheim believed the idea of a god was society itself. They were not religious people so it’s interesting that they did have some of the same views and theories regarding religion in the society.
In this essay I will be looking at the theories of Edward Burnett Tylor and Émile Durkheim, and comparing them to see which theory I think gives a better explanation about what religion is, or whether religion is actually definable. On the one hand we have Tylor’s theory that tells us that religion is belief in spiritual beings and that religion is just a step on the way to reaching full evolutionary potential. Durkheim’s theory, however, says that religion is very much a social aspect of life, and something can only be religious or “sacred” if it is something public (Durkheim 1965:52). Ultimately these theories do not give us an outright explanation about what ‘religion’ is, but there are aspects of the theory that can be used to gain an understanding or idea.
The theoretical works of Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber still influence sociological theory. Though their works are decades old they still are a major part of what sociology is today. Though their theories can seem very different, there are some similarities. To become a great sociologist one most learn and understands how to use all sociological perspectives. To do this one must understand and use the different theoretical perspectives created by Marx, Durkheim, and Weber.
Following the Industrial Revolution in 19th century Europe, change was in full swing and religion began to have different meanings for different people. The upper-class citizens used Religion, namely Christianity, and the power that it possessed in an attempt to keep their high status in society, while the lower class turned to faith so that their lives could possibly improve. Instead of religion being the cornerstone of faith and worship amongst all people, it was being used for power and money by the upper class. Even worse, religious leaders were using the upper class people as well, gaining money and authority from their endorsement. A man by the name of Karl Marx saw
According to one article, Karl Marx, who is a religious critic, says that “[r]eligion is the opiate of the masses”(as cited in Cline, 2017). For example, Marx says that “religion's purpose is to create illusory fantasies for the poor”(as cited in Cline, 2017). It is said to give unrealistic dreams to the poor. In addition, religion helps to forget suffering. Pain relief is good, but it does not solve the underlying problem(as cited in Cline, 2017). “Similarly, religion does not fix the underlying causes of people's pain and suffering — instead, it helps them forget why they are suffering and gets them to look forward to an imaginary future when the pain will cease”(as cited in Cline, 2017). Finally, Marx says that religion is addictive like
For Weber, religion can be seen as a factor which pushes for social change, while for Marx it is essentially used as a conservation, keeping the wealthy, wealthy and suppressing the poor
Durkheim and Weber both had distinct theories as they expressed and conceptualized religion and it’s impact to society in quite different ways however, they somehow overall parallel each others theories. Durkheim observed religion in the context of the integrated society and recognized its place in affecting the reasoning and conduct of society.Max Weber saw religion as how it fortifies other social organizations. Weber suspected that the religious belief setup contributed a social system that SUPPORTED the improvement of other social organizations, like the economy. Weber is also addressing the shrinking hold of religion in modern society.”(Veugelers) This notionally theorizes that both philosophers acknowledge the importance of religion as influencing and supporting society. As indicated by Durkheim, people consider religion to be adding to the wellbeing
We all have some experience with religion. Whether our parents are religious, our own religious views, or others who try and convert you to a religion, we have all come in contact with a religion. But what do sociology and religion have to do with each other? The answer to this question is that religion meets sociology in the affects that it has on an individual or society (Schaefer, Richard T, 2009, pg 323).
Moreover, Durkheim compares religion to society. He says that society is the cause of the unique sensations of the religious experiences, so called “sui generis” (Ritzer, 84). This concept
For Weber, the idea of rationalism rational thought based on societal efficiency and productivity, runs through his works particularly The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. In this seminal work, Weber argues that the idea of Protestantism contributes to history and economics in that piety and the chance for a better life after death cause humans to strive for economic gain in certain ways, whereas that is not always using work as an expression of self - it is work, as Marx might say, for the ends justifying the means, rather than the means justifying what work is being done. Authority, then, rather than being solely economic, does have at its
Similarly to Weber, Durkheim believed that religion plays an integral part in society. He defined religion as a “unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things… beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a church...” (Durkheim EF: 47). This functional definition describes what Durkheim believes what role religion plays in contemporary society: it unities it. He analyzed religion within the context of the entire society and recognized its influence on people’s thoughts and behaviors. Durkheim was interested in the communal bonds forged by participating in religious activities and stressed the importance of the communal aspect of religion.