Parsons argues there is a clear link between religion, morality, norms and statue laws. The strength of the feminist argument is that they explain how religion can be used as a way of maintaining male domination over women through promoting traditional gender roles.
Another function is that religion gives people a sense of identity and belonging, for example if you follow a religion you belong to this religion therefore you have a sense of identity and any kind of attack on this religion feels like an attack on them.
Holm refers to this as the devaluation of women in contemporary religion. For them, the hijab is a symbol of liberation that enables them to enter the public sphere without losing their culture and history.
Many Muslims believe the veil shows their independence and separate identity and shows that they are proud of their religion. An example would be from Christianity, were there believe that men were made from god and women from men, this could be interpreted as meaning that women are lower than men because they were not made from god.
For example belonging to an evangelical group can be empowering for some women. Functionalists also criticise feminists and believe religion stabilises society by creating social solidarity and integration between groups and do not believe it oppresses women.
Linda Woodhead believes that yes traditional religions are patriarchal she emphasises that not all of this is true of religion.
Functionalists would argue that is not oppressive but is helping women to know their gender role, thus creating social cohesion. For example men reinterpreted religious beliefs in ways that favours patrichary.
Functionalists also criticise feminists and believe religion stabilises society by creating social solidarity and integration between groups to which is beneficial to society: So as a result they would perform rituals this was their way of praying that their people would return from the rivers.
However, religion has not always been like this as there was a time when religion was very she woman centred, e. She appears to have made no attempt to find Muslim women who felt they were forced into wearing the veil against their will by men in a patriarchal society.
Even if religions were oppressive, Leymah Gbowee shows how women can overcome that and use religion for their own liberation. Conversely, Marxists believe the main role of religion is to legitimise and maintain the power of the ruling class by keeping the working class from rising up, doing this by misleading them into believing their suffering will be favoured in the afterlife.
This links in with the idea that religion reflects traditional gender roles and male power.
For example, belonging to an evangelical group can be empowering for some women. New Age religions such as crystal healing and feng shui are dominated by women so are not oppressive. For example, a strongly held belief among evangelicals is that men should respect women. However, the funeral ceremony allows people to adjust to their new situation.
However it has been heavily criticised by functionalists and Marxists for being too bias and not considering any positives. Jean Holm describes this as the devaluation of women in contemporary society.
Durkheim also argues that religion creates social order and encourages harmony. The last function is that functionalists generally see religion as a good thing as it creates social solidarity and strengthens collective conscience, he believed that religion promotes this social solidarity by dealing with the situations of emotional stress that threaten the stability of society.
However, He has also been criticized for misunderstanding both totemism and the behavior of the aboriginal tribes themselves. Linda Woodhead criticises feminist explanations; that simply equate religion with patriarchy and the oppression of women.
However postmodernists would criticize saying that it is unlikely that religion teaching traditional gender roles has a significant impact; this is because in the postmodern world people have less faith in Meta narratives in religion.
As well as this, they believe that religion functions as a patriarchal ideology that is a vehicle that perpetuates inequity and such beliefs legitimizes female subservience and oppression. The Ten Commandments for example, people believe that if they follow these set of rules that there will be an afterlife for them.
Merton says that in religion you have both functions and dysfunctions, because not everything in society is positive, it can be dangerous. Durkheim study of the aborigines can be evidence of this as he found that the members of this community worshipped sacred objects even though they had no supernatural characteristics.
Feminists, such as Simone de Beauvoir, agree with the Marxist idea that religion promotes false consciousness, but this is a gendered form false gender consciousness whereby women learn and accept their domestic responsibilities and duties towards their husbands.
Through socialization religion can control the way people dress for example Muslims must have all their body covered. Though both Marxists and feminists believe that religion masks the oppression they do not believe it serves the same people.
In conclusion, it is my opinion that feminists, assuming the main function of religion is to perpetuate patriarchy is correct, as the churches do reflect traditional gender roles and due to society being in a stage of modernity, and women having very different roles, it is clear that monotheistic religions such as Christianity do try to perpetuate patriarchy.
Similarly Saadawi takes the view that it is the development of patriarchal society that has caused religion to promote inequality. Therefore religion is seen to control us. However feminists have been criticised as not all religions are oppressive, for example, Quakers who are committed to gender equality have never been oppressive to women.Evaluate postmodernist explanations of the role and functions of religion in contemporary society.
Postmodernist religion can be defined as any type of religion that is influenced, interpreted or shaped by postmodernism and postmodern philosophies. However, religion may also perform positive functions for society, and subordinate groups, such as women, may also use religion to serve their interests.
Introduction Feminists view the role and functions of religion in society today to be primarily i____________. Evaluate Feminist Views on the Roles and Functions of Religion in Society Today; ’ Feminists would argue that this example shows how women are forced to be in the expressive role as the men are religiously promoted as the breadwinners in the instrumental role.
However functionalists would criticize feminists, by saying that. Evaluate feminist views on the role and functions of religion in society today (33 Marks) All over the world religion is portrayed differently giving people many different opinions on it.
Home Essay Sociology A2 – Postmodernity Task Essay Question(s): Evaluate feminist views on the role Evaluate postmodernist and functions of religion in explanations of the role & society today (18marks) functions of religion in contemporary society (33marks) Patriarchal Vehicle (Plan and case.
Evaluate feminist views on the role and functions of religion in society today. Feminists see religion as a patriarchal institution; maintaining male dominance over women by making them believe it is god?s will.
Feminists believe that women are controlled by religions in several ways, for example, dress code, arranged marriage, lifestyle.Download