Contact Us
Sign In / Sign Up for FREE
Go to advanced search...

Comparing and contrasting functionalist,marxist and feminist perspective on religion - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Religion refers to those socially shared ways of thinking, feeling, and acting that have to do with the supernatural or "beyond" (Zanden 371). For Shepard, Religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things (388)…
Download full paper File format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER95.4% of users find it useful
Comparing and contrasting functionalist,marxist and feminist perspective on religion
Read Text Preview

Extract of sample "Comparing and contrasting functionalist,marxist and feminist perspective on religion"

Download file to see previous pages Religion refers to those socially shared ways of thinking, feeling, and acting that have to do with the supernatural or "beyond" (Zanden 371). For Shepard, Religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things (388). The theorists like Marx Weber, Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim have different views on Religion. Emile Durkheim presented his functionalist perspective of religion in his work The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (Thio 385). He emphasized that religion functions to preserve social order. Every religion possessed both rituals and moral norms (Ibid). By way of rituals, people sanctify and renew their bonds to one another. Their beliefs in the sacred and acceptance of common norms are strengthened. Thus, religion binds the society and maintains it (Ibid). As a whole, functionalist theorists direct their focus on the contributions the religion has made to the survival of the society. Functionalists argue that the role of religion is to preserve the status quo rather than to promote social change. They agree that religion is a beneficial conservative force because it maintains consensus, binds people together and promotes social order. They however see it as having a positive influence, whereas the Marxist view is somewhat more negative in its outlook. ("The Different"). The essential function of religion was to provide through sacred symbols a mirror for members of society to see their common unity. Through its system of beliefs, religion offers an explanation of the nature of social life (Shepard 391). The conflict theorists on the other hand, as represented by Karl Marx viewed religion as producing an otherworldly focus that diverts the oppressed from seeking thisworldy social change (Zanden 382). Marx viewed it is an expression of human alienation and an illusion. It is a form of false consciousness and as a tool of the powerful in the struggles between competing social class ( Robertson 405). It is the "sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of the heartless world, the soul of the soulless circumstances. It is the opium of the people" ( Thio 385). Marx considered it as a profound form of human alienation because people tend to lose control over the social world they have created resulting to a situation where they find themselves alien in the hostile social environment (Robertson 405). This is because people shape social institutions expecting that the same will serve their needs yet find themselves to be the servant of the institutions they created (Zanden 382). Conflict theorists have taken a new perspective on the relationship between religion and social change. They view it not as a passive response to social relations of production but as an active force shaping the contours of social life (Ibid 383). Marxist argue that religion is a mechanism for social control- (as does functionalism), religion maintains the existing system of exploitation, and reinforces class relationships and inequalities. Further, Marx argued that religion dulls the pain of oppression by: 1) Promising a paradise of eternal bliss in the after life, 2) By often making poverty tolerable by offering heaven as a reward for they're suffering c) By giving the hope of supernatural intervention to solve the worlds problems and d) Justifies social order/hierarchies- by saying that poverty is divinely ordained as a punishment for sin ( "The Different"). .Feminists on one hand agree with Marxists to the extent of religion acting as an instrument of domination and oppression but not for the ruling class but for men. They believe people live in a patriarchal society. Radical feminists during the 1970's and 1980's view religion primarily as patriarchal ideology regardless of the different forms in which it appeared (Newman, "Feminist"). They found that there exists a relationship between religion and politics. The male controlled institution, such as religion defines women as subordinate to men and are used to ...Download file to see next pages Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Comparing and contrasting functionalist,marxist and feminist Essay”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(Comparing and Contrasting functionalist,marxist and Feminist Essay)
“Comparing and Contrasting functionalist,marxist and Feminist Essay”, n.d.
  • Cited: 1 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Comparing and contrasting functionalist,marxist and feminist perspective on religion

Comparative Perspective on Organized Crime Groups

The Medellin Cartel of Columbia and the Sicilian Mafia are the two groups chosen for comparative analysis. In what aspects do they differ? What are their similarities? Suchlike questions will be dealt with in the passages that follow.

Both the crime groups emerged in regions with a history of political volatility. The civil war of 1948-1958 had the harshest impact on the city and its surrounding areas. The civil war was essentially one of the struggles between poor Campesinos and the rich landowners. It is no coincidence that most of the populace of Medellin are poor and are émigrés from the countryside. The industrial city of Medellin served as the operating base for the Medellin Cartel, whose founders in...
6 Pages (1500 words) Assignment

Critical Themes and Perspective on Management Organisation and Strategy

At present, the mainstream management theory has failed to live up to the hype that was created in its name and the critical aspects can originate from such an undertaking within the management changeover processes. Thus mainstream management theory has pretty much put an end to the age-old thinking mindset yet failed to address the pertinent issues all said and done. (Cyert & March 1963)

Since mainstream management theory has come about due to the evolution of certain measures within the management regimes, it is a fact that the changing times have seen that the business world has evolved drastically and with that the different methodologies and the ways through which management regimes are carried out. One needs t...
6 Pages (1500 words) Coursework

Polygamist Sects: Right of Religion or Child Abuse

In pre-industrialized societies, where the route to winning wealth and political power was through attracting followers of having lots of sons, to hunt for the family head or defend the family’s land. So, a man might marry several wives and have them produce goods that could be traded and generate income, and thus, polygamy is about hoarding the productive and reproductive labor of women.

The social implications of polygamy are more intricate and complex as there are obvious variations in the literature regarding the nature of relationships among co-wives in a polygamous marriage. It is also difficult to differentiate whether it is entirely good or is it entirely bad for women. The Mormons are an exceptional case...
9 Pages (2250 words) Term Paper

Project Management: Best Practices and Stakeholders Perspective

Employees of functional divisions are assigned or detailed to a specific project and then re-assigned back to the organization when the project is completed.
Project management is defined by the Project Management Institute (PMI) as the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements; and its methodology as the planning, monitoring, and control of all aspects of the project and motivation of all those involved in it to achieve the project objectives on time and to the specified cost, quality, and performance.” Being a temporary, one-time endeavor, it differs from the organization's operations and processes which are its current and permanent work to create a pro...
6 Pages (1500 words) Literature review

Conflict Between Science and Religion

When the Copernican theory of planetary motion became well known in 1543 through the publication of his book, De revolutionibus, the geocentric model of the universe as implied in the Bible received a great setback. There were also questions raised about the notion that God created the earth and universe in seven days. The scriptures also speak in a plain manner that the earth is stationary, but science proved that the earth was rotating around the sun. To reconcile science and religion became a Herculean task for the faithful and several approaches were adopted to find out a coherent explanation.
“Grant us space from our meditations on the secret recesses of your law, and do not lock the gate to us as we knock. It is n...
22 Pages (5500 words) Assignment

Religion and Politics in Russia

Centuries have passed since the times' religious organizations, such as a church or various loges formed on the basis of certain religious views, ruled the Old World. The whole history world history gives bright and endless examples of the fact that through the development of civilization religious beliefs were not only a part of a nation’s culture, but were also a powerful tool of politics which enabled kings and emperors to keep a country in peace, and people appeasable. The earliest historical examples, such as ‘Akhenatens new religion’ (, which was introduced to the nation in order to unify it around one god, show that religion was always not only to support and enhance the culture o...
10 Pages (2500 words) Coursework

Myths and Stereotypes on Womens Madness in Feminist Literature

The ultimate salvation and expression of a woman lie in providing mental support to the ever so creative man, they went on convincing young, aspiring young women. It was this background that prompted Sylvia Plath to create the character, Buddy Willard’s mother and, make her say the sentence, “what a man is is an arrow into the future and what a woman is is the place the arrow shoots off from…,” (Plath, 1972, p.58) in her novel, Bell Jar.

Anybody that refuses to conform to the norms and conventions of the society stands the risk of being branded mad. Madness is a revolt of the psyche against the social conditioning that every human being acquires from his or her surroundings. Esther goes mad prim...
6 Pages (1500 words) Essay

Comparing the Brave New World and Todays World

Many people had been doing this search several times and came up with nothing. Out of this seeming hopelessness and uselessness came the philosophical idea of the absurd – that Man's search for individual meaning is bound to end in absolute failure. Man has studied the cosmos and tracked the movement of celestial bodies in an attempt to find any meaning that can somehow alleviate his worries about what happens next when the real world (as he perceives it) is left behind and he enters perhaps another world where no one returned. In other words, Man tried to achieve immortality but apparently failed in his search.

It has as a central idea that whatever else Man does will ultimately end up as nothing. This is the cen...
8 Pages (2000 words) Term Paper

The Romanticized Perspective of the Bonnie and Clyde Story

Bonnie and Clyde, pictured below personified the hard-edged image that Bonnie and Clyde earned for their 1930s crime spree. It is an assortment of posed photographs that set the stage for the mythology that rose up involving the life, times, and crimes of the famous and infamous Bonnie and Clyde. Clyde, a violent, gun-toting ex-con with a long criminal past, which frivolously killed without remorse along the way and Bonnie who was his loyal and active accomplice, who also, flippantly fired guns, committed
crimes, they detail that the two were just about America’s most memorable villains (Federal Bureau of Investigation). She perceived as being a hard, harsh, and criminally violent woman. These two had become one the &ld...
6 Pages (1500 words) Case Study

The Feminist View on the Ideology of Separate Sphere

In this thesis, I intend to delve into a detailed perspective with regards to intricacies of public and private life contexts of a woman’s life as illustrated throughout the popular literature “Little Women” and influence of these separate spheres on each other in contrast to the popular notion that these are completely independent entities with no direct influence on each other.
The thesis of this research, therefore, is the societal depiction of a woman as secure, confident and trusted in handling private, family and home-related matters. On the flip side, it offers a stark contrast when it comes to the perception of her ability to handle public responsibilities.
In analyzing the feminist view on the...
11 Pages (2750 words) Case Study
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Comparing and contrasting functionalist,marxist and feminist perspective on religion for FREE!

Contact Us