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Religion is one of the world's oldest social institutions. Every known culture through the tens of thousands of years of human history has practiced some form of religion. While theologians and others may focus on the beliefs, truths, and spiritual meanings of religion, sociologists study religion as a social construction. Sociologists study the social functions of religion, including providing social cohesion and social control. They look at the effects of social cohesion and control on individuals and groups. They measure the significance of religion in people's lives and examine trends in religious attitudes.

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