Durkheim_Mar7

Durkheim_Mar7 - SOCIOLOGY 313 Development of Sociological...

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1 SOCIOLOGY 313 Development of Sociological Theory Émile Durkheim Key Points: ± Why does Durkheim chose to study religion? ± Critical discuss the major social functions of “religion”, broadly conceived.
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2 C19th French moral crisis? Conservatives back to : Monarchy Religion Authority Hierarchy Limited democracy Radicals fast forward to: Liberal agenda but achieved via more urgent revolutionary means Working class rights Liberals forward to: Democracy Rights Individualism More rights for middle classes Durkheim - Sociology can explain changing forms of social cohesion, why these broke down, how they were re-made, etc. Why look to religion? ± It appears among all societies, albeit in different forms ± Religions, then, must serve some important social function ± And, consequently, they must have some basic characteristics in common Religion as a product of society ± not divinely or supernaturally inspired ± The model for relationships between people and the supernatural is the relationship between individuals and the community ² “God is society, writ large.” ± “…a system of ideas by means of which individuals represent to themselves the society of which they are members, and the obscure but intimate relations which they have with it.” ± “apparent function is to strengthen the bonds attaching the believer to his god, [but it] at the same time really strengthens the bonds attaching the individual to the society of which he is a member, since the god is only a figurative expression of the society.”
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3 The social function of religion ± Durkheim thought religion was a form of social cohesion, which holds complex societies together.
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This note was uploaded on 02/05/2012 for the course 920 313 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.

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Durkheim_Mar7 - SOCIOLOGY 313 Development of Sociological...

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