Share via Email In the same way that Sigmund Freud created a way of making sense of the dynamics and passions of the human psyche, the pioneering French sociologist, Emile Durkheimcreated a language for understanding our collective moral passions.
Theoretical perspectives[ edit ] Symbolic anthropology and phenomenology[ edit ] Symbolic anthropology and some versions of phenomenology argue that all humans require reassurance that the world is safe and ordered place — that is, they have a need for ontological security.
The inability of science to offer psychological and emotional comfort explains the presence and influence of non-scientific knowledge in human lives, even in rational world. Functionalism[ edit ] Unlike symbolic anthropology and phenomenologyfunctionalism points to the benefits for social organization which non-scientific belief systems provide and which scientific knowledge fails to deliver.
Belief systems are seen as encouraging social order and social stability in ways that rationally based knowledge cannot. From this perspective, the existence of non-rational accounts of reality can be explained by the benefits they offer to society.
According to functionalists, "religion serves several purposes, like providing answers to spiritual mysteries, offering emotional comfort, and creating a place for social interaction and social control. It provides social support and social networking, offering a place to meet others who hold similar values and a place to seek help spiritual and material in times of need.
We cannot explain forms of knowledge in terms of the beneficial psychological or societal effects that an outside observer may see them as producing. We have to look at the point of view of those who believe in them.
People do not believe in God, practice magic, or think that witches cause misfortune because they think they are providing themselves with psychological reassurance, or to achieve greater cohesion for their social groups.
They do so because they think their beliefs are correct — that they tell them the truth about the way the world is. Nineteenth-century rationalist writers, reflecting the evolutionist spirits of their times, tended to explain the lack of rationality and the dominance of false beliefs in pre-modern worlds in terms of the deficient mental equipment of their inhabitants.
Such people were seen as possessing pre-logical, or non-rational, mentality. Rationalists see the history of modern societies as the rise of scientific knowledge and the subsequent decline of non-rational belief.
Some of these beliefs, such as magic and witchcrafthad disappeared, while others, such as religion, had become marginalized. This rationalist perspective has led to secularization theories of various kinds.
Sociological classifications of religious movements One common typology among sociologists, religious groups are classified as ecclesiasdenominationssectsor cults now more commonly referred to in scholarship as new religious movements. Note that sociologists give these words precise definitions which differ from how they are commonly used.
For example, Charles Y. Glock is best known for his five-dimensional scheme of the nature of religious commitment. His list consist of the following variables: Secularization and Civil religion In relation to the processes of rationalization associated with the development of modernityit was predicted in the works of many classical sociologists that religion would decline.
In the United States, in particular, church attendance has remained relatively stable in the past 40 years. In Africa, the emergence of Christianity has occurred at a high rate.
While Africa could claim roughly 10 million Christians inrecent estimates put that number closer to million. Furthermore, arguments may be presented regarding the concept of civil religion and new world belief systems.
For instance, some sociologists have argued that steady church attendance and personal religious belief may coexist with a decline in the influence of religious authorities on social or political issues.
Additionally, regular attendance or affiliation do not necessarily translate into a behaviour according to their doctrinal teachings.
In other words, numbers of members might still be growing, but this does not mean that all members are faithfully following the rules of pious behaviours expected. In that sense, religion may be seen as declining because of its waning ability to influence behaviour. Religious economy[ edit ] According to Rodney StarkDavid Martin was the first contemporary sociologist to reject the secularization theory outright.
Martin even proposed that the concept of secularization be eliminated from social scientific discourse, on the grounds that it had only served ideological purposes and because there was no evidence of any general shift from a religious period in human affairs to a secular period.
Correspondingly, the more religions a society has, the more likely the population is to be religious.
This points to the falsity of the secularization theory. On the other hand, Berger also notes that secularization may be indeed have taken hold in Europe, while the United States and other regions have continued to remain religious despite the increased modernity.In , Durkheim published his first major work, The Division of Labor in Society, in which he introduced the concept of "anomie", or the breakdown of the influence of social norms on individuals within a rutadeltambor.com , he published The Rules of Sociological Method, his second major work, which was a manifesto stating what sociology is and how it ought to be done.
Sociology of religion is the study of the beliefs, practices and organizational forms of religion using the tools and methods of the discipline of rutadeltambor.com objective investigation may include the use of both quantitative methods (surveys, polls, demographic and census analysis) and qualitative approaches such as participant observation, interviewing, and analysis of archival, historical.
Emile Durkheim was a French sociologist. He formally established the academic discipline and, with Karl Marx and Max Weber, is commonly cited as the principal architect of modern social science and father of sociology. Max Weber was a German sociologist, philosopher, and political economist.
Emile Durkheim's Theories on Suicide - “Suicide is the third leading cause of death in the United States In , men had a suicide rate of , and women had a rate of Suicide offers an examination of how rates of suicide differed by rutadeltambor.comically, Durkheim analyzed differences between Protestants and Catholics.
He found a lower rate of suicide among Catholics and theorized that this was due to stronger forms of social control .
A critical review of Emile Durkheim – ‘Suicide’ The following analysis of Emile Durkheim’s ‘Suicide’ will comprehend and critique both the methodological approach to his research, as well as the conceptual and subjective interpretations transmitted through his study.