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美国宗教学留学生essay-Martineau and Durkhiem’s theories

论文价格: 免费 时间:2012-02-27 10:12:03 来源:www.ukassignment.org 作者:留学作业网

美国essay指导 Martineau and Durkhiem’s theories
1. Durkhiem’s theory of historical transformation
Emile Durkheim is the developer of the new model of social structures, he is one of the founders of structural functionalism. His theory of the social influence on the individual is widespread all over the world and is very popular among sociologists nowadays. His theory of historical transformation from traditional (mechanical solidarity) to modern (organic solidarity) helps us to understand the role of social factor in the development of the personality.
All the people are social beings and every person wants to be independent and lead his own life without any advice or order, so it had been more natural if people would have tried not to unite but to disjoin and lead independent way of life. In reality it’s not so and here social factor plays the main role. All the people have their own desires and wishes and follow their own selfish aims but the realization of these desires needs special external forces that concentrate outside of the one individual. “The determining cause of a social fact should be sought among the social facts preceding it and not among the states of individual consciousness” (Durkheim, p. 110). Every person’s wish stimulates the whole process of the social development: “The more one has, the more one wants, since satisfactions received only stimulate instead of filling needs.”(Durkheim, p. 98).
The force that connects people is a common social conscience that is represented by social norms, stereotypes, values and ideas. These norms function and form the social structure where all the individuals of the society accept these norms and follow them.
The development of the individuality is possible only in a free society where equal ties dominate. The growth and the development of state power reduces the role of the free individual and doesn’t give any possibility for the human development. The division of labor is the main principle of social cohesion.
The Division of Labor represents Durkheim’s view on solidarity and its types. The base of the mechanical solitary is likeness and its development depends on the so-called collective conscience. Mechanical solitary includes preponderance of common ideas and views over the person interests. The collective conscience is homogenous and is the opposition to the individual so the development of individuality conflicts with mechanical solitary.
Another type of solidarity is organic. Organic solidarity is tightly connected with the increasing of the division of labor. The role of the individuals changes with the development of the society. The development of the society means the appearance of the independent personality with individual ideas, http://www.ukassignment.org/mgessaydx/2012/0227/19287.html norms and beliefs. Such person estranges from common social views and ideas and is not guided by common morality. Individualism is the result of the division of labor.
Durheim supports the modern organic solidarity as the main means of the development of the society but he also adds that is has both advantages and disadvantages. From one side the person chooses the individual way of behavior in the life and becomes free of church, social norms and stereotypes, but from the other side the person starts thinking only about his or her prosperity and benefit not carrying about other people and making harm.
The person comes through two phases: mechanical and organic. The socialization of the individual is inevitable because he can develop his individuality only when some time passes.
Social solidarity has its own particular qualities and one of the most important is law. Law controls the organization of social life and is the most effective method of control.
There are two kinds of sanctions: repressive and restitutive. Repressive laws are penal laws and they are used to control the society and to get rid of criminals. The restitutive type isn’t aimed to influence on the criminals, its main aim is to restore the previous relationships that have been damaged. It includes procedural, communal and civil laws.
Repressive law is the main characteristic of the mechanical solidarity as it controls contacts between people in the society. Collective life can be regulated by the legal methods. According to Durkheim criminals are people who infringe upon the norms of the collective conscience. Dukheim also insists on the fact that crime is crime because this act censures the common consciousness. In such situation the power of the authority and common ideology play the main role. Punishment is a “reaction of passionate feeling, graduated in intensity, which society exerts through the mediation of an organized body over those of its members who have violated certain rules of conduct” (Durkheim, p. 158).
Durkheim’s main idea is that social solidarity exists because some ideas are common for all members of the society. The result of the solidarity is the repressive law.
Emile Durkhiems theory of historical transformation includes two periods: mechanical and organic. The organic solidarity is the unification of strong individualities and mechanical solidarity is the existence of collective conscience and the authority of the common ideology. The historical transfer is natural process, which is impossible without any of two parts.
2. The nature and function of religion
Durkhiem and Martineau have their own understanding of the nature and function of religion, they both criticize religion and see it as the power to rule the social individual but their arguments and thoughts differ. Martineau in his book “Letters on the Laws of Man’s Nature and Development” (1851) rejects religious belief at all. Durkheim is looking for the beginnings of religion in animism and totemism. These both conceptions are interesting and worth people’s attention.
Durkheim researches primitive religions: “Now when primitive religious beliefs are systematically analyzed, the principal categories are naturally found. They are born in religion and of religion; they are a product of religious thought” (Durkheim, p. 9). Religion divides social life into two parts: sacred and profane. Sacred things are created by the community when there is a necessity. Religion is only a weapon in the hands of the collective authority and believing in God people in reality believe in the collective power and society.
According to Durkheim the nature of religion is not individual. He states that it’s collective and its formation is connected with communal emotion. Such point of view is shown in his work “The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life” (1912). French sociologist also distinguishes sacred things from magic. Magic things can’t give birth to the real religion because their origin is individual, at the same time collective conscience isn’t involved in this process. He finds the relationships and ties between the community and the individual as the relationships between people and supernatural.
Martineau interprets religion as “the tendency of human nature to the Infinite” (Martineau, 78). Religion is tightly connected with such conceptions as universal, individual and equal. Here is the main contradiction between Martineau and Durkheim’s theories: Martineau interprets religion as the act of individualism while Durkheim stands for its social origin.
Martineau created his own theory of the development of church and religious society. This theory is rather idealistic and its realization is practically impossible but it makes us think that changes in church are necessary. According to the British sociologist, the nowadays religious society has a number of disadvantages such as priesthood and uniformity which make church senseless. Church in such a way can’t serve a mankind and help people to hear the voice of God. The Martineau’s theme of the church development is the main role of the state. State controls the church and the coordination of all sects is under the state control. This theme doesn’t mean that state would have a possibility to change the church doctrine for the state benefit, it just means that historical achievements would be taken into account by the religious society.
指导美国宗教论文Religion is the belief in an ever-living God, that is, in a Divine Mind and Will ruling the Universe and holding moral relations with mankind” (Martineau, 157). This is Martineau’s famous statement that helps us to understand hid definition of God and church. Martineau insists for the necessity of the church for the individuals and Durkheim claims that religion is an artificial product created by the collective community to control the minds of all the representatives of the society.
Being the British, Martineau made a number of tours to the USA and he wrote a lot of works dedicated to his impressions of the American nation and its development. His main conclusion is that in America religion is formed by the unique American character. The virtuous elite of the American society proposes its ways of the religious development and people accept them. The individualism is the foundation of the growth of the religious consciousness. Priesthood limits activity of the individualities and so brakes the further church development. The clerical workers are the main enemies of the Christianity.
Durkheim and Martineau are famous sociologist whose works have become teaching books for the modern generation of sociologists. Durkheim sees main aim of religion in the social cohesion of people and Martineau says that it’s the individual development. Their religious conceptions are different but they both are logically proved and can give push for the further investigation of religious nature and function. The understanding of the nature of religion gives the understanding of the religious necessity for the mankind.

指导美国essay Bibliography
1. Durkheim, Emile (1984) The Division of Labor in Society. Trans. W.D. Halls. New York: The Free Press .#p#分页标题#e#
2. Durkheim, Emile: On Morality and Society, pp. 149–163, 236–237. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.
3. Durkheim, Emile (1954) The Elementary forms of the Religious Life. Translated by J. W. Swain. New York: The Free Press.
4. Martineau, Harriet (1837) Society in America, Volume III, Part IV, “Religion.” London: Saunders and Otley.


 

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