Upon completion of this assignment, students will be able to understand the Origins of Sociology with respect to Religion and the Rational Society.
Religion, in one form or another, has been found in all human societies. Due to European industrialization and secularization, sociologists attempted to examine the relationship between religion and society which led to the development of sociology.
In view of the role of religion in the development of Sociology, what similarities and differences could be identified in the objectives and approaches of Religion and Sociology? Explain with the help of an example.
Marking Scheme: 8 + 4 = 12
Religion and Sociology
At the time of industrial revolution, Sociological thinkers saw Religion as a significant force which led to the development of Sociology. It can be seen that the religion and welfare of the people go together. Almost all the religions of the world have taught their followers the welfare of the people and service to humanity. As social scientists, we can see some similarities as well as differences in the objectives or approaches of Sociology and Religion.
Similarities in objectives:
Almost every religion has guided to improve the lives of the people, morality, ethics, honesty, looking after each other and good living which leads to happiness and welfare of the society.
Sociologists also tried to look into the welfare of the people. With migration and industrial revolution, a lot of changes lead to the rise of certain problems- social, economic, health etc.
Sociologists tried to look for the solutions of these problems, in other words they focus on the wellbeing and happiness of the people.
Sociology and Religion may have the same goals but approaches to look into the issues could be different.
For the welfare of the people, Sociologists tried to adopt the scientific and positivistic approach based on evidence and sensory experiences, whereas the scientific approach was not followed by the religious segment. The religious approach for looking into issues or finding the reasons was based on historical references and traditional knowledge.
Example: Prostitution is a social issue that almost every society faces. In this context, the objective of Sociology and Religion could be the same i.e. to help society get rid of this social menace for the welfare of the people.
On the contrary, in order to look into this issue, both the religion and sociology may have different approaches. Sociologist may use scientific research methods like surveys or interviews to know the reasons of prostitution in a society and predict its damages and proposes relevant solutions. On the other hand, Religious segment may approach this issue on the basis of traditional principles, historical knowledge and past religious dogmas.
Sociology came into being as a result of scientific mentality during 18th Century.
Describe how the need for explaining things logically leads to the creation of Rational Society? Marking Scheme: 8
By the dawn of 19th century, the scientific method had taken its route with respect to understanding the phenomena of changes that occurred in that time. There had been lots of advances in the natural and physical sciences i.e. physics, astronomy and biological sciences. At the same time there had been lots of technological changes in the society as an outcome of the industrial revolution.
During this period, the effort to explain things scientifically was started, by providing evidence based and logical explanations phenomena. People started to study the realities using scientific approach i.e. research based on sensory experiences.
The need to study the reasons arose due to the Social, Economic, Political and other changes in the society as well looking at the certain social movements that focused on the effects of those changes. Hence, People tried to adopt same kind of approach to study the realities being used by the natural scientists. They tried to explain transformation of society from different angles. Why rich people are getting richer? How people are living while working long hours? What are the issues of sanitation and living standards, changes due to migration etc.? It was seen that changes in the physical conditions of the people brought changes to their relationships as well. So the idea was to explain things rationally i.e. studying things based on the reason, following scientific approach to explain the realities. Resultantly, scientific mentality was pervasive that actually gave impetus for the development of sociology.
The general trend of the society encourages the scientific approach (rather traditional knowledge) for the collection of facts and reasons and this could be called as a ‘Rational Society’.