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Religion and Social Construction Paper
Religion and Social Construction Assignment
I chose option two for this paper to investigate social construction and the relationship it has with religion using three theoretical lenses, symbolic interactionism, critical sociology, and functionalism. Throughout history, communities have utilized religious narratives, traditions, and symbols to derive more meaning about life and comprehend the universe. While many people perceive religion as a personal issue that is mainly based on individual choices and beliefs, religion is a fundamental social institution. As a social institution, religion has been used to create different class segments and convert various forms of capital, including land and labor, into religious capital to legitimize people and systems.
Emile Durkheim, a pioneer in the field of sociology, defined religion as a system that contains concepts and things that go beyond the limits of people’s knowledge. Furthermore, he elaborated that religion is a consolidated system of practices and beliefs relative to pious and sacred beings that unite a single moral society. Religion serves as the lens of examining the community and different cultural components (Christiano et al., 2015). For instance, after the 9/11 attacks, it became vital for educators, social workers, and religious leaders to teach their citizens about Islam to facilitate religious tolerance and eliminate stereotypes. As a lens, religion also provides the systems and structures through which a society can be constructed.
From the 1950s to the 1970s, the functionalist theory was the most widely used concept in the analysis of the sociology of religion. It evaluates the presence of social institutions like religion in terms of the functions that they accomplish. Religion serves different functions, such as providing the moral foundation of a community using laws and guidelines that were established by a Supreme Being and spiritual leaders, conceptualizing the emergence of the world and the group of people, uniting the people, and giving an understanding of the processes and things that existing in the universe (Christiano et al., 2015). With regards to these functions, social construction occurs when religion is used to realize educational, social, political, and financial requirements....................GET A PLAGIARISM FREE COPY