Education and Religion BRITTANY GOOD, SOPHIA KROTT, ASHER MAIR, ALBERTO ENRÍQUEZ Education Serves political and economic needs Most important part-individualism Three main theories: • The functionalist theory • The conflict theory • The symbolic interactionist theory The functionalist theory Focuses on the ways that universal education serves needs of society. See education in its manifest role: conveying basic knowledge and skills to the next generation. Durkheim (founder) indentified the latent role of education as one of socializing people into society’s mainstream. “moral education” helped to form a more –cohesive social structure – bringing people from different countries together The conflict theory Sees purpose of education as mainstreaming social inequality and preserving the power of those who dominate society Perpetuating the status quo by dulling the lower classes into being obedient workers. Practices sorting but disagree about how it enacts that sorting Schools train those in the working classes to accept their position as a lower-class member of society”hidden curriculum” The symbolic interactionist theory Limit their analysis to what they directly observe happening in the classroom Focus on how teacher expectations influence student performance, perceptions and attitudes Religion Religion is a social institution that answers questions and explains the seemingly inexplicable. Religions based on the belief of a single deity are monotheistic. Those that have many deities are polytheistic. Uniting Traditions When families attend religious services or put up decorations in honor of a holiday, they are teaching their children about their religion and how to observe it. By engaging in these activities and traditions, children are united with others of the same religion around the world. In this way, families teach their own culture as well as the culture of the society at large. Major World Religions Christianity: derived from Judaism. It is based on the belief that Jesus Christ was the son of God and the redeemer of mankind. There are many different Christian denominations. Islam: Followers of Islam are called Muslims. Muslims believe that the true word of God was revealed to the prophet Muhammad. God in Islam is said to be the same god as the Christian and Judaic deity. Judaism: Judaism is a monotheistic religion that predates Christianity, built on the belief that they are the “chosen people” of God. Major World Religions (Continued) Hinduism: Hindus believe in many Gods (Polytheistic). Karma is the main principle of their beliefs. They believe in reincarnation and that the good and bad you do determine what you reincarnate into. Buddhism: Buddhism, like Hinduism, does not feature any single all-powerful deity but teaches how one can achieve enlightenment. Types of Religious Groups Sociologists group religious organizations into three categories: church, sect, and cult. A church is a religious group integrated with society. A sect is a religious group that sets itself apart from society as a whole. A cult is a religious group that is outside standard cultural norms, typically centered around a charismatic leader. Religion in the US In the United States, the degree to which people are religious is related to their social class, race, and ethnicity. The United States was built upon the beliefs of religion (Christianity) Sociological Theories of Religion Each major sociological framework has its perspective on religion… Karl Marx Theory Karl Marx focused on the conflict and oppression that religion provided to societies. An example of this can be seen in the lines "God made them high and lowly and ordered their estate". This clearly shows from a Marxist perspective how religion is used to justify social inequality. Marx see's religion as a tool used by the ruling classes to control the working classes Functionalist Perspective Religion is an integrative force in society because it has the power to shape collective beliefs. It provides cohesion in the social order by promoting a sense of belonging and collective consciousness. This view was supported by Emile Durkheim Symbolic Interaction Theory Focuses on the process by which people become religious. Different religious beliefs and practices emerge in different social and historical contexts. Symbolic interaction theory helps explain how the same religion can be interpreted differently by different groups or in different times throughout history. From this perspective, religious texts are not truths, but have been interpreted by people. Thus different people or groups may interpret the same Bible in different ways. Fundamentalism Fundamentalism is strict adherence to any set of basic ideas or principles Example: Christian fundamentalists believe that every word in the bible is true; word for word. Fundamentalism and conflicts The belief of fundamentalism can create many conflicts among different sects in a religion. can sometimes lead to theocracy in a society, which in turn creates a divide between the non-religious and religious citizens Ex: Sharia Law.