Essay about The Theory And Conflict Theory

742 Words 3 Pages
Religion in Australia is a topic of never ending variety due to our multicultural backgrounds, producing many different religious beliefs within our society. Inevitably the question arises as to if religion, as a sociological concept, ultimately a force for good or ill in society. To answer this question the concepts of functionalism and conflict theory will be assessed.

Sociologist Emile Durkheim defined religion as an ‘unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden—the beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a Church, and all those who adhere to them’ (Durkheim, 1912, p. 128). By this definition we often associate religion as a force of good or, in some cases, ill majorly depending on ones personal stance. Too look at the function of current society, we must first look at our history.

Australian history of recorded religion goes back to 1850 to 1947 where the pattern of distribution was quite stable, according to (Bouma, 2002, p. 17). Through this time period Anglicans, Presbyterians and Methodist together comprised 60 per cent of the population recorded, dominating religious life. It has been claimed that Australia’s religious groups and preferences have changed continuously throughout Australian history since 1947 (Census, 2012). Interestingly enough, within this change there was a drop in affiliation to Christianity when first report in 1911 at 96% to 61% in 2011.…

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