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A2 religion revision

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Revision and essay practice for the Sociology of Religion;Theories (and key concepts): Ideology as a closed belief system and Science (as a closed and open belief system) essay Practice

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A2 religion revision

  1. 1. A2 RELIGION REVISION A2 AQA RELIGION REVISION: Theories, Ideology, Science & Exam Practice
  2. 2. LESSON OBJECTIVES  Key concepts of the different theories  Outline of science as an open and closed belief system  Outline of ideology as a closed belief system  Application to exam questions
  3. 3. Ruling class ideology False class consciousness Legitimation of inequality Oppression Ruling class Subject class Superstructure Mechanism of social control Neo-Marxism Relative autonomy of religion Liberation theology
  4. 4. Sacred Profane Totemism Exogamy Churingas Collective conscience Collective worship Crises of life Socially destructive Ritual Social order Value consensus Social solidarity Social cohesion Meaning
  5. 5. Science Socially constructed Theories Enlightenment Reason Betterment of humankind Observation and measurement Falsification Fabricated evidence Paradigms Paradigm shift Risk Metanarratives
  6. 6. Ideolog y as a belief system. 1. According to Popper, ideology is a closed system of thought which rejects alternative views. 3. Gramsci argues that beliefs and ideas can change society – they are not simply a reflection of the infrastructure. He claims that the working class have a dual consciousness which allows them a limited view through the smokescreen of ruling class ideology. 4. Some feminists claim that patriarchal ideology justifies and maintains male dominance and makes it appear normal and natural. 5. Political ideologies are sets of beliefs which guide political action and seek the shape public policy. 7. Conservatism emphasises tradition, a strong state and the family as the cornerstone of society. 6. Liberalism emphasises individual freedom, equality of opportunity and government by consent. 8. Socialism emphasises collectivism, equality and co- operation. 2. According to Marx, ruling class ideology: distorts reality; produces a false consciousness; justifies inequality; supports the position of the ruling class and reflects the economic relationships in the infrastructure.
  7. 7. Jean-Francois Lyotard – science in postmodern society. According to the French writer Lyotard (1984), people in postmodern society have lost faith in the metanarratives of modern society. A metanarrative is a ‘big story’ like the Enlightenment view of progress, Christianity’s view of life and Marx’s view of history. In postmodern society, metanarratives no longer inspire, they no longer direct action, they no longer form the basis for beliefs. Science is a metanarrative – a big story about the origin of the universe, behaviour in the natural world, and the evolution of species. Lyotard believes there is widespread disillusionment with science in postmodern society. Science has failed to deliver on the Enlightenment promise of progress. (It’s just rooting out more depravity – internet…?). People no longer trust scientists and have lost faith in the grand claims of science. Rather than being concerned with human betterment, science is becoming the servant of industry and commerce. Scientists are increasingly concerned with technology, focusing their attention of producing goods for sale. This can be seen from the rapid advances in electronic goods. From this point of view, science is becoming technoscience, concerned with producing commodities for the global marketplace (Irwin and Michael, 2003). Q2. What does Kuhn mean by a paradigm, and how is it important in the theory of science? [18 marks] Q3. To what extent can religion and science be seen as different varieties of belief system? [33 marks] AO1 Knowledge & Understanding 6/18 AO2 Interpretation, Application, Analysis & Evaluation 12/18 AO1 Knowledge & Understanding 15/33 AO2 Interpretation & Application, 9/18 AO2 Analysis & Evaluation 9/18 Q1. Using the item above, identify and explain why science as a metanarrative is under threat. [9 marks] AO1 Knowledge & Understanding 3/9 AO2 Interpretation, Application, Analysis & Evaluation 6/9 * Good sociological knowledge & understanding. * Full, detailed and accurate evidence / studies to support claims. * Range of theoretical perspectives. * Relevant concepts explored, understood & used correctly. * The introduction fully breaks down the question. * A range of relevant and appropriate studies / evidence. * Do you explain how the evidence you use supports or rejects the points you’re trying to make? * A balanced evaluation that points out both strengths and weaknesses of the evidence you use. * A discussion that creates an argument through a series of separate points. * Good sociological knowledge & understanding. * Relevant concepts explored, understood & used correctly. * Do you select appropriate points with which to answer the question? * Is your discussion detailed & focused on the question? * Good sociological knowledge & understanding. * Full, detailed and accurate evidence / issues to support claims. * Relevant concepts explored, understood & used correctly. * Accurate and sociological interpretation of the question. * Do you make use of appropriate & relevant material? * A balanced evaluation that pulls out both strengths and weaknesses of the material you use. * Clear rationale, followed by appropriate deductions you’ve made. 3
  8. 8. AO2 is pretty hard, there’s no doubt about it. But it’s not beyond you. Here are a few pointers to help you on your way. * Use the following trigger words to get you thinking critically: Therefor e On the other hand… This will lead to… The disadvantages / advantages of this are… Skill How to show it Knowledge Understandin g Am I showing the examiner that I have sociological knowledge? Am I explaining all the concepts I’m using? Interpretation Application Analysis Evaluation Am I focused on the question – am I answering it? Am I using relevant evidence and concepts? Am I reading between the lines & introducing new ideas? Am I pointing out the strengths & weaknesses of the evidence used? The balance of AO1 and AO2 is always as follows in the question: Question 1 [9 marks] 3 / 6 Question 2 [18 marks] 6 / 12 Question 3 [33 marks] 15 / 18 (9/9) 3
  9. 9. Science as a belief system. 1. Berger and Luckmann argue that beliefs are socially constructed – science can be seen as a social construction. 2. The Enlightenment view of science was based on two principles: the belief that reason could provide an understanding of the world and the view that this understanding could be used for the betterment of humankind. 3. Traditionally, in modern society, science was seen to be based on objective observation and measurement. 4. According to Popper, scientific theories can be falsified but cannot be proved. 5. So-called facts can be seen as fabricated or socially constructed. As such, they are not objective. 7. According to Kuhn, science is directed by paradigms constructed within communities of scientists. 6. Giddens argues that in late modern society there are serious doubts about the objectivity and value of modern science. 8. Lyotard sees science as one of the metanarratives which are increasingly dismissed in postmodern society.
  10. 10. High modernity Reflexivity Separation of time and space Disembedding Existential questions ‘Life projects’ Sphere of consumption Religion as a cultural resource Dedifferentiation ‘New Age’ Detraditionalization Relativism Consumer culture Metanarrative
  11. 11. Patriarchy Gender inequality Mother Goddess Polytheism Monotheism Female subordination Purdah Female circumcision Veiling Hijab

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