Sociology- Beliefs in Society

Rachel Pearce
Mind Map by Rachel Pearce, updated more than 1 year ago
Rachel Pearce
Created by Rachel Pearce about 5 years ago


Mind Map on Sociology- Beliefs in Society, created by Rachel Pearce on 01/10/2015.

Resource summary

Sociology- Beliefs in Society
1 Religion, Science + Ideology
1.1 belief system- set of beliefs which help people make sense of + interpret the world. are a social construct which form a basis of universes of meaning. they then feedback + reinforce the society that constructed them, applies to a whole spectrum of beliefs
1.1.1 Relgious ones are used to provide answers about phenomenons e.g. life after death= give a sense of comfort. Scientific ones provide hard facts about how things work e.g. Darwin's theory explain evolution. these are all socially constructed + try to make sense of the world. All form a part of + legitimate universes of meaning
1.2 Belief system are often described as either open / closed.
1.2.1 Science is usually seen as open. Popper= it is a system where theories are open to scrutiny + testing by others. governed by falsification i.e. scientists work to falsify existing theories by deliberating evidence to disprove them. discarding falsified= scientific knowledge becomes cumulative, builds on achievements of past scientists to develop greater understanding of the world Further supported by Merton= asserts science works by CUDOS norms However Kuhn argues they operate within communities and specific branches of science. operate in shared paradigms (own ways of explaining how things work. Thus they conduct experiments to defend rather than test theories. if forced they will modify them not discard them. Case of Dr Velikovsky shows they reject theories which goes against existing paradigms (like religion) Marxists- manipulated to reinforce ruling class ideas, advances are driven by capitalism e.g. theoretical work on ballistics was driven by need for new weaponry Feminists- perpetuates patriarchal society, bio science tries to reinforce male dominance. PM- reject it as the 'truth', see it as a metanarrative. falsely claims to have true knowledge. also applies to other socio theories, only versions of the truth
1.2.2 Religion is usually seen as closed, makes knowledge claims that cannot successfully be overturned. when beliefs are questioned, 'get out clauses' are used to prevent system from being disproved at least in eyes of believers. Evans Pritchard found the Azande people would argue if the oracle was wrong it was due to the method of the ritual being wrong + not the belief itself PM- reject it as the 'truth', see it as metanarratives.
1.3 ideology- a worldview/ set of ideas + values, a belief system. has a range of meaning, usually negative. e.g. idealised view of view, closed minded view/ ideas that hide interest of a certain group/justify privileges
1.3.1 Marxists believe ruling classes use their control of mental means of production (institutions) to assert ruling class ideology over proletariat to legitimise inequalities + prevent revolution. e.g. equality is against human nature. Despite this marx believes they will develop class consciousness Gramsci developed this- ruling class ideological domination = hegemony. Proletariat can develop ideas to challenge capitalism as workers have dual class consciousness. To do this, a political party of organic intellectuals However Abercrombie et al- economic factors e.g. fear of unemployment, keep workers in line, not ideology
1.3.2 Mannheim- all belief systems are one-sided world views, resulted from the viewpoint of a particular group/class + their interests. there are 2 types of these. Perceives these as creation of intellectuals who are associated with a certain group = partial views of reality ideological- justifies keeping things the same, reflects position + interests of privileged groups who benefit from maintaing status quo. belief tends to be conservative + favour hierarchy Utopian- justifies social change, reflects position + interests of unprivileged groups. offers a vision of how society can be organised differently. WC are disadvantaged by status , may favour radical change, marxism is an example of this. must detach themselves from these groups to create a 'free floating intelligentsia'. to synthesise answers + create a total worldview to represent all society. critics argue this would be difficult as many political ideologies are opposed to each other e.g. marxist + conservatives, couldn't work together.
1.4 Feminists- gender inequality, result of patriarchal ideology. gender difference is present in different societies, different ideologies are used to justify it.
1.4.1 Marxs- science was used in C19th to justify excluding women from education, educating females would create 'a new race of puny + unfeminine females' would disqualify them from true vocation i.e having children+ being a housewife
1.4.2 Patriarchal ideologies can also be found in religious beliefs + practices, define women as inferior. Many state the idea of women being ritually impure + unclean due to childbirth + menstruation- given rise to purification rituals e.g. churching after birth. In some Christian churches, a new mother won't receive communion until she is schurched.
1.4.3 However not all elements of religion subordinate women e.g. evidence of matriarchal religions in Middle East before monotheistic patriarchal ones e.g. Islam, Christianity + Judaism. Also in hinduism goddesses are often portrayed as mothers/creators of the universe
2 Religious Organisations + Movements
2.1 Weber- made distinction between church + sect in early 20th C. Troeltsch developed this- churches are very different from sects
2.1.1 Church (uniquely legitimate) universalistic but not in practice- minorities may be excluded Worship is restrained ideologically conservative places few demands on members has a bureaucratic hierarchy of professional clergy
2.1.2 Sect (uniquely legitimate) draw members from poor + oppressed worship is spontaneous hostile to wider society led by charismatic leader places high standards on members not individualistic
2.1.3 2 new types of organisation were then introduced Denomination (pluralistically legitimate) described as a watered down church with similarities to sects broadly accepts society's values but aren't linked to state. Unlike sects they don't reject wider society disproportionately middle class reflects fundamental view of individualism Cult (pluralistically legitimate) led by practitioners who claim special knowledge highly individualistic, loose knit lacks a fixed doctrine likely to be a part-time activity term is interchangeable with sects, refer to small religious group whose beliefs deviate from mainstream religions AO2 problems with classification (stark + bainbridge) problems with general application- era dependent? Problems with stigma (Hadden)
2.2 NRMs
2.2.1 3 types world rejecting similar to sects world accommodating similar to denominations world affirming similar to cults
2.2.2 reasons for growth of sects + cults Marginalisation relative deprivation social change
2.2.3 reasons for growth of NRMS world affirming (Bruce) response to modernity, rationalisation of work world rejecting Failure of counter culture in the 60s to change the world, disillusioned youth turned to religion
2.2.4 dynamic of sects + NRMS. often short lived compared to churches denomination/ death 2nd generation (Niebuhr) protestant ethic effect death of leader sectarian cycle schism initial fevour denominationalism estabishment further schism
2.2.5 established sects conversionist e.g. evangelicals aim to convert a large no. of people Adventist e.g. Mormons must separate themselves from corrupt world. less likely to become a denomination socialise children into high commitment. Globalisation has allowed to attract members from 3rd world countries rather than made them become less separate
2.3 New Age
2.3.1 2 common themes (Heelas) Self spirituality have turned away from traditional external religions e.g. churches, instead look inside to find the spiritual Detraditionalisation rejects spiritual authority of external traditional sources e.g. priests/ sacred texts. instead it values personal experience + believes we can discover the truth within + for ourselves beyond these New age beliefs vary, could be world affirming/ rejecting
2.3.2 heelas estimates 2,000 such activities + 146,000 practitioners in UK
2.3.3 post modernity (Drane) its appeal is part of a shift to postmodern society. loss of faith in meta-narratives e.g. science. Lost faith in experts + are turning to NA idea that we can find the truth for ourselves by looking within
2.3.4 modernity (Bruce) See NA eclecticism/ pick + mix spiritual shopping as typical of late modern religions, reflecting consumerist ethos of capitalist society. Heelas also sees NA + modernity linked in 4 ways source of identity consumer culture Rapid social change decline of organised religion it is latest phase of modern society not post modernity Modern society values individualism which is a key principle of NA beliefs. Also an important value for expressive professions e.g. social worker/ artist which NA appeals to NA beliefs are often softer versions of much more demanding + self disciplined Eastern religions e.g. Buddhism. They have been watered down to be palatable to self centred Westerners- explains why NA activities are often client cults, make few demands
3 Social Groups + Relgiousity
3.1 Age
3.2 Gender
3.3 Ethnicity
4 Religion + Social Change
4.1 Conservative- having traditional views/ trying to prevent change + conserve things as they are
4.1.1 functionalists- conservative because it functions to maintain stability + prevent society from disintegrating e.g. promotes society by creating consensus. reducing likelihood for people to pursue selfish interests. Also helps them deal with stresses that would disrupt society
4.1.2 Marxists + feminists= ideology which supports existing structure + acts as a means of social control. Creates stability in the interests of the powerful, helps maintain stays quo + less powerful from changing things traditional marxist- it is conservative ideology that prevents social change. By legitimating/disguising exploitation + inequality= creates false class consciousness in WC + prevents revolution, maintains stability of capitalism Feminists- conservative force as it acts as an ideology that legitimates patriarchal power + maintains women's subordination in family + wider society
4.2 Radical
4.2.1 Weber sees it as a force for change in some circumstances rejects Marx's view of religion being shaped by economic factors. although sometimes this may be true at certain times + places argues the beliefs of calvinism a form of protestantism, helped bring about major change- emergence of modern capitalism. weren't the cause however. capitalism developed in societies where religion was influential. Past societies had capitalism (greed + wealth). Modern capitalism is different (based on pursuit of profit than consumption) = spirit of capitalism. Spirit had an unconscious similarity to calvinism material/economic factors were needed e.g natural resources, trade, a system of law etc. calvinist had several beliefs predestination divine trancedence asceticism idea of a vocation ascetic lifestyle had 2 consequences: wealth + success gained performed a psycho. function for them. took it as a signor gods favour- why else would they have prospered driven by work ethic they accumulated wealth in most rational way possible. instead of squandering it on luxuries they reinvested it in businesses, which grew producing more profit to reinvest etc. this was spirit of capitalism- object is simply the acquisition of more money as an end in itself
4.2.2 Civil rights movement religion was an ideological resource taking moral high ground channeling dissent acting as honest broker mobilised public opinion New Christian right?- didn't reflect society's values
4.2.3 Marxism, religion + change bloch- relgion has dual character. while it can inhibit change, it can also inspire protest + rebellion liberation theology- emerged in latin america with catholic church
4.3 McGuire- whether religion can be a force for change relies on:
4.3.1 beliefs of particular religion
4.3.2 culture of the society it exists in
4.3.3 social location of religion
4.3.4 internal organisation of religious institutions
4.4 religion + class conflict
4.4.1 Biling applies gramsci's ideas in a case study comparing class struggle in two communities: coalminers (more militant) + textile workers (more accepting of status quo)
4.4.2 3 ways religion supported/challenged employers' hegemony leadership organisation support
5 Secularisation
5.1 Religion,renewal + choice (evaluation)
5.1.1 Belief without belonging (Davie)
5.2 Defining it
5.2.1 (Woodhead + Heelas) Disappearance / Differentiation
5.2.2 (Hanson) Broad / Narrow
5.2.3 Worldwide / Just the West
5.3 Evidence
5.4 Explanations
5.4.1 Marx
5.4.2 Weber
5.4.3 Comte
5.4.4 Wilson
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