In contemporary industrial societies, people are also bound together by patterns of consumption, ways of life, laws and other forces. Religion provides a system of beliefs around which people may gather to belong to something greater than themselves in order to have their personal beliefs reinforced by the group and its rituals. But, in this role, religion is not always harmful. It prepare the child to know about the right and wrong. Exploring the truth of a religion… Various virtues like Idol worship and Pooja are taught to a child. For example, Martin Luther King fought for civil rights of Blacks in America. The Main Function of Religion According to Sociological Arguments Many sociologists believe that the main function of religion is to provide people with a code of conduct, which regulates personal and social life. Following are the functions of economic institution which include Social stratification, Power and authority, Interdependence of other Institutions, Needs satisfaction, Employment, Division of Labor and Provision of funds. Friedrich Engels, a life-long close associate of Karl Marx, once noted that religion could make the masses ‘submissive to the behests of the masters it had pleased God to place over them’. As a social institution, religion helps a society meet its basic needs. Religious beliefs can influence the conduct of those who believe in them. the eternal. Émile Durkheim distinguished between sacred beliefs and profane beliefs and wrote about the role religion played in social life. Though, the exact social norms are not taught and transmitted to the next generation there is few changes in it due to social change and the personal experience of teacher. (1947). The social cohesion is developed through rituals such as reciting prayer in the honour of God, institutions of worship (church, temple, mosque, etc. These functions are discussed below in brief: Durkheim believed that the primary function of religion was to preserve and solidify society. Religious sanctions are sought for certain desirable patterns of behaviour to persist in society in the forms of mores. Durkheim also emphasized that besides acting as an integrating force, religion also reinforces social control in oppressive society. Some of the most important functions of religion are as follows: 1. The five main social elements (institutions) that are interactive and make up society are: 1. Émile Durkheim distinguished between sacred beliefs and profane beliefs and wrote about the role religion played in social life. Religion as Emotional Support 6. Generally, religion is regarded as an impediment in the path of social change but many religious groups, by criticizing existing rules of social morality and social injustice, and community or government actions, help in bringing about social change. Religion, he acknowledged, is a matter of faith, and faith is not provable or disprovable through scientific inquiry. By contrast, latent functions or religion are unintended, covert, or hidden. Religion helps us in performing ceremonies and rituals related to rites of passage (birth, marriage, death and other momentous events) which give meaning and a social significance to our life. This moral community gives rise to social community through the symbolism of the sacred that supports the more ordinary aspects of social life. Marx has acknowledged that religion plays an important role in legitimating the existing social structure. Social Stratification In capitalist system, there is uneven distribution of resources among people, which create many social classes in society. Sometimes it might have conservative effect, whereas in other cases it might contribute to social change. Chapter 5 “Social Structure and Social Interaction”, Section 17.2 “Religion in Historical and Cross-Cultural Perspective”, Next: 17.2 Religion in Historical and Cross-Cultural Perspective, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To understand a culture, sociologists must study its religion. Religion provides explanations for why things happen and demystifies the ideas of birth and death. Persons convinced of their own essential wickedness can suffer extreme personal difficulties. He said, ‘Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the feelings of heartless world …. Rather, Durkheim tried to understand the role played by religion in social life and the impact on religion of social structure and social change. Even though the participation of religious practices varies from place to place, it still continues to be a … Religion as Social Control 4. These beliefs are based on the faith that life has a purpose, and there is someone or something that controls the universe. 3. Religion as Social Control 4. In other words, this purchase has different functions. He opined that religion impedes social change by encouraging oppressed people to focus on other worldly concerns rather than on their immediate poverty or exploi­tation. 7.4 The Get-Tough Approach: Boon or Bust? Because it is such an important social institution, religion has long been a key sociological topic. The elementary forms of religious life (J. Swain, Trans.). 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