Religion: Functionalism, Conflict Theory, And Religious Reactionism

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Religion is a major piece of societal function in the modern era. Lots of societal factors can be determined by one’s religion. So, it makes sense that religion and religious institutions are a continual hot topic for sociologists, and that there is an undying debate as to the meaning and purpose of religion, mainly due in part to the three conflicting views of sociology: functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism. Functionalism, according to Understanding Social Problems, 5th Edition, Functionalism states that “society is a system of interconnected parts that work together in harmony to maintain a state of balance and social equilibrium for the whole”. In other words, it is a sociological viewpoint that suggests that society functions in a cooperative manner meant to build and uphold itself, the key focus being how society attempts to preserve itself and evolve: group survival. Religion, in functionalist terms, is a tool by which society produces unity, which reduces conflict within a society and promotes longevity and cooperation. A functionalist sociologist might point to how many of the most successful societies in human history have been founded on the principles of a religion, or how religion can be used as a means of giving a community common ground and shared thoughts. Functionalist sociologists likely question where the concept of religion originated from, as well as research how religious institutions operate. They want to know exactly what the

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