Sociological Perspectives Of Structural Functionalism

1490 Words6 Pages
The three main sociological perspectives of structural functionalism, conflict theory and symbolic interactions, aid sociologist in gaining a broader understanding for purposes of this paper –religion (as a primarily social rather than theological or psychological phenomenon) and the effects on societies. In looking at how religion functions in social structures, social systems, and small group interpersonal interactions sociologists could formulate a better understanding of religion 's role in society and the human experience. The sociologist looks at the individual agency, and how that connects to a specific societal location or setting. Specifically, in the case of religion a sociologist could study the power religion holds over people and societies, and the influence religion has on educational or political institutions. Understanding the cultural universals of religion and the differences in how individuals and societies experience religion could aid in understanding society, social forces and human behaviors. In utilizing the structural functionalism theory, a sociologist would formulate questions about how religious institutions contribute to the cohesion or unity of a society by examining the bonds within those institutions. By looking at whether those bonds are related to ceremonies and rituals and how the feelings of emotional unity (including the sacred - set apart from daily life and profane -the everyday aspects) affect solidarity and social order. A
Open Document