anthro paper 1

anthro paper 1 - Ty Mailath 10-28-06 Anthropology Dr....

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Ty Mailath 10-28-06 Anthropology Dr. Branch Religion From A Functionalist Perspective Functionalism is the oldest and arguably the most dominant theoretical perspective in sociology and many other social sciences. This perspective is built upon twin emphases: application of the scientific method to the objective social world and use of an analogy between the individual organism and society. The emphasis on scientific method leads to the assertion that one can study the social world in the same ways as one studies the physical world. Thus, functionalists see the social world in an objective perspective which contributes to their techniques of evaluating a society by using social surveys and interviews. The emphasis on the organic unity of a society leads functionalists to speculate about the needs that must be met in order for a society to exist. One of these needs, functionalists believe is religion. Religion is an integral part in a society just as the organs of the body have functions that keep the body surviving. Therefore, every society will have a religion, because religious institutions have certain functions which contribute to the survival of the society as a whole. However, functionalists explain religion in a different light. Instead of asking why people believe in religion, they wonder what function religion serves in society. A functionalist might argue that the system of religion is necessary to improve morale. Religion offers people an outlet to relieve the worries and stresses from their everyday
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anthro paper 1 - Ty Mailath 10-28-06 Anthropology Dr....

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