1. Religion as a conservative force
Religion can be seen as a conservative
force in 2 ways:
1. It is seen as been ‘traditional’,
defending moral views and roles. So
upholds traditional beliefs about how
society should be run.
2. It is conservative because it functions
to preserve things as they are. It
2. Religions conservative beliefs
Most religions have traditional conservative beliefs about moral issues and
many oppose changes that would allow individuals more freedom. For
example, the catholic church forbids divorce, abortion and artificial
contraception. It opposes gay marriage and condemns homosexual behaviour.
Similarly most religions uphold family values and often favour a traditional
patriarchal division of labour. For example, the church of England promotes
the man to be head of the family. Another example is, Hinduism which
endorses male domestic authority and the practise of arranged marriage.
3. Religions conservative functions
Marxist: See religion as an ideology that
prevents social change. By disguising
exploitation, it creates false conscious in the
working class and prevents revolution, therefore
maintaining the stability of a capitalist society.
4. Feminists: Feminists see religion as a
conservative force because it acts as an ideology
that legitimates patriarchal power and maintains
women's subordination in the family and wider
5. Functionalists: Totems are a symbol of the set of
beliefs. This can be anything from an object to
an animal and is treated with the highest
respect by those that follow that set of beliefs or
religion. For example its similar to the crucifix
and Christians. He found aborigines doing this in
Australia and concluded that when clan
members worship their totemic animal, they are
in reality worshipping society even if they are
not aware of this fact.