Religion as a Conservative Force<br />rightcenterBasic Functionalist termsOrganic analogyFunctional prerequisitesAnomieValue consensusSocial orderSocial solidaritySocial integrationInterdependency__________________Making LinksThink back to the topics Education and Family.What did Functionalists say about the role of these institutions?How did they benefit individuals and society?(Parsons/Murdoch/ Durkheim/Davis and Moore)Look at the key concepts above and link them to the above theories.30000100000Basic Functionalist termsOrganic analogyFunctional prerequisitesAnomieValue consensusSocial orderSocial solidaritySocial integrationInterdependency__________________Making LinksThink back to the topics Education and Family.What did Functionalists say about the role of these institutions?How did they benefit individuals and society?(Parsons/Murdoch/ Durkheim/Davis and Moore)Look at the key concepts above and link them to the above theories.<br />Functionalist theory of religion<br />Imagine a society with no norms/values.<br />Imagine a society with no social institutions in place.<br />WHAT WOULD IT BE LIKE?<br />Activity 1 – Body Positive<br />In pairs consider your responses to the following:<br /><ul><li>What different institutions are there in society?
Why are they there? What functions do they perform?
How do these functions help society (and individuals)?
Draw a diagram showing the links between these institutions
You have just highlighted the Functionalist model of society known as the Organic Analogy.
This will be our starting point with studying religion and its role in society.
For Functionalists religion is beneficial and acts a conservative force, maintaining society in its current state.
But what is so good about religion according to Functionalists?
Recap your understanding of Durkheim’s theory about the role of religion and how it benefits individuals and society.
You are to imagine that you are Emile Durkheim. Somehow we have transported him from the time that he wrote ‘The Elementary Forms of Religious Life’ (1912) to the location of BBC TVs popular show ‘The Dragon’s Den’.
Here you are going to make a pitch to the dragons.
You are going to try and convince Duncan and the gang that this thing called religion is good for them to invest in. </li></ul>Plan your pitch<br /><ul><li>explain key terms and what the benefits are of religion
use examples to Illustrate where possible/Mention Aboriginal findings
stress how religion will be good for keeping society stable and prevent change</li></ul>Develop a logo for your company Durkheim Theories Inc.<br /><ul><li>which incorporates some of his key ideas</li></ul>Prepare answers to questions that they may throw at you <br /><ul><li>be ready for any criticisms</li></ul>Other Functionalists have added to Durkheim’s initial theories. Most notably – Parsons, Malinowski and Bellah.<br />We need to consider what each of these argue and how they are linked (and add) to Durkheim’s ideas.<br />Activity 3 – Culture Club<br />No this will not involve an ageing 80s pop star turning up doing an impromptu version of the hit ‘Karma Chameleon’. Instead we are going to look at the ideas of Talcott Parson (Talcy – to his mates).<br />1.Recap your understanding of Parsons. What are his key points?<br />2.List as many of the 10 Commandments that you are aware of.<br />3.Which ‘values’ do these relate to?<br />4.How will these commandments help individuals and society? (think about the opposite of each!)<br />5.Parson’s also argued that religion offered answers to ‘eternal questions’. Can you explain why it is important that we have answers to these questions? (eg, how they help individuals psychologically – and the benefits of this socially – for society!)<br />Activity 4 – Comfort zone<br />Bronislaw Malinowski was an anthropologist who hung out on the Trobriand Islands and learnt much about their way of life. He explored their religion and how it had important social and psychological functions for the islanders. It was an essential tool for keeping people feeling stable and prevention social breakdown. It also help to reduce the potential of social change by stabilizing their society.<br /><ul><li>List different situations that make you feel anxious or uncertain.
How do you feel when in such situations? Do you feel ‘normal’? Imagine what it would be like for society if thousands of people felt this way.
Take two ‘life crises’ and summarize how the relevant ‘rite of passage’ prevented these life crises from causing disruption to people’s lives.
What did Malinowski say about the fishing in known waters and open seas? Do you know of any good luck rituals that people might do before stressful/anxious situations? Eg) before exams. What do they do? How does this benefit them?</li></ul>Note – that if a ritual reduces anxiety then it reduces the potential for social disruption. <br />Activity 5 – In God we trust!<br />Bellah explores the idea of civil religion. It is something that unites a diverse population and bonds them together as one. <br /><ul><li>List as many examples of rituals/practices/symbols that are adopted in America which unite them together (and make reference to God/Spirituality).
Look at Nazi Germany – can you find similar examples of how Nazism was a kind of civil religion.
Are there any rituals/practices/symbols in modern Britain that unite us as a nation and have a degree of religion linked to them?
Is civil religion really a religion? Look back at your definitions of religion and see which ones it is similar to.</li></ul>Consolidation task<br />Using your understanding of Functionalist theories of religion and points raised in this activity, write a response to the following question.<br />According to Functionalists, religion performs beneficial roles for society. How do these roles help to keep society running smoothly and stable?<br />