Religion is a set of beliefs and practices, often centred upon specific supernatural and moral claims about reality. The functionalist, such as Emile Durkhiem sociological perspective about the role of religion in society is that; “Religion is exceptionally important because it has a great influence on everything from government to social order and family relationships. ” They also believe religion maintains social solidarity and value consensus amongst society’s population and this helps maintain the well-being of society.
Many feminist sociologist such as Armstrong, argue that religious institutions and beliefs help legitimise gender inequality. Like Marxist, feminist argue that religion is a product of patriarchy rather than capitalism. However, religion can maintain mechanism as it maintains the exiting system of exploitation, and reinforces class relationships and inequalities; Religion also diverts people’s attention away from the real sources of oppression – the ruling class, creating a false class conscience.
This social control is also achieved because the ruling class adopts traditional religious beliefs and these believes legitimate and justifies, they’re social positions e. g. monarchs, ordained by “god” in modern society. My aim is to find out how important is religion to people in today’s society. This is because religion affects different societies in different ways and different forms, causing the forms of society to change. Religion can be a driving force in society, but as a reactionary rather than a radical way. So I am going to find out how different people from different cultures react to religion under different circumstances.