The View that Religion Acts as a Conservative Force on Society

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The View that Religion Acts as a Conservative Force on Society Even though sociologists do not have a true definition of religion they believe that religion is a belief in the supernatural. Some sociologists believe that religion acts as a conservative force. A conservative force is something that prevents change within society and also maintains the status quo. Functionalist believes that religion is a conservative force. Durkhiem believes that everybody shares the same beliefs and values that are represented by sacred symbols. Durkhiem would argue that religion acts as a conservative force as it reinforces the collective conscious. Durkhiem would argue that as people worship in church they are worshiping a set of values that society shares. Therefore the collective conscious is reinforced and status quo is maintained. Durkhiem’s study of the Australian aborigines “totemism” showed that they had sacred symbol in which they worshiped, this is the totem pole. He argued that when the aborigines worshiped the totem they were worshiping society. This reinforced the collective conscious and unified the group and allowed the status quo to be maintained. Durkhiem would also agree that religion acts as a conservative force as it helps social solidarity within society. He would argue that when people worship in churches it brings people together creating social solidarity, this reinforces the collective conscious and maintains the status quo. Durkeim says that religion provides the individual with the motivation to face up to life and social support based upon a sense of belonging to each individual. This maintains the status quo as it... ... middle of paper ... ...has made a lot more people aware of alternative solutions than always depending upon god. Therefore they are less likely to have behaviour governed by god, this leads to social change. As there is now a large amount of religions that exist in society people believe that it is better to not have a religion at all, Berger argues that this leads to anomie as religion no longer provides the meaning to life. Nelson a sociologist also believes that religion does not act as conservative. He argues that religion creates most of the problems that occur within society, for example the conflict between two religions in Northern Ireland (protestant and catholic) Nelson believes that religion is the source of much unrest. Therefore as religion is the cause of unrest within society it does not help to maintain the status quo.
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