- Explain how functionalists view the purpose of religion in society
- The positivist tradition encourages the study of society using dispassionate and scientific methods.
- Emile Durkheim argued that religion provides social cohesion and social control to maintain society in social solidarity.
- Collective consciousness, which is the fusion of all of our individual consciousnesses, creates a reality of its own.
- Critics of the functionalist approach point out that religion can be dysfunctional. For example, religion may incite violence by a fundamentalist religious group.
- social control: any control, either formal or informal, that is exerted by a group, especially by one’s peers
- social cohesion: The bonds or “glue” that maintain stability in society.
Functions of Religion
Catholic Church Gathering for Mass: Congregation Gathering Service for the Virgin Mary