I Am Responding To Question #2

777 words - 4 pages

Through a major macro-sociological paradigm called Structural Functionalism, Emile Durkheim emphasized the unity of a society through functions of several distinctive structures. These structures are social institutes that perform roles with a purpose of maintain social order and stability, which is widely seen in religion. Emile Durkheim emphasized religion in his final major study in where he suggested that religion was certainly an influential source of social solitary through its collective bonds and common values. Interestingly, religion is a large social structure that incorporates several roles and beliefs to many individuals, and thus creates a large contribution to our society. Through the furthered detailed work of Robert Melton in structural functionalism, we are now able to identify manifest and latent functions in the aspects of religion.
Primordially, manifest refers to the intended functions in a social structure that is aware of its contribution to the social system. Religion has several functions and intended purposes that heavily influence individuals, and therefore influence macro-sociological level. A manifest function of religion would be inculcating social virtues such as non-violence, truth, honesty, love, and unity through a set of disciplinary rules or guide. The leader of a group emphasizes these great social qualities through lectures, hymns, or services. Religion also promotes social solidarity, as emphasized by Emile Durkheim. Through common belief, worship, or simple participation, this strengthens the unity through the set of beliefs and practices that are already settled. Last but not least, a manifest function of religion plays largely on pure recreation. Attending services or activities become hobbies, and relives mental exertion. After a long day of work, many individuals seek entertainment through the activities done by its particular religion.
On the other hand, Latent refers to the oblivious and unintended functions in a social structure that contributes unknowingly to the social system. One of religion’s latent functions is mental peace. Every individual has uncertainties and life struggle, and most feel emotionally supported through religion. However, unknowingly this emotional support creates mental peace for that individual. Having support from a group alleviates the stress, anxiety, or worries; thus resulting in a better mental state. Religion also strengthens self-confidence. Having the potential of changing a life pattern obliviously promotes self-confidence and a more fulfilled...

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