Essentials of Sociology


Assignment 08

SO115Essentials of Sociology

Directions:  Be sure to make an electronic copy of your answer before submitting it to Ashworth College for grading.  Unless otherwise stated, answer in complete sentences, and be sure to use correct English spelling and grammar.  Sources must be cited in APA format.  Your response should be four (4) pages in length; refer to the “Assignment Format” page for specific format requirements.


Respond to this topic using a five-paragraph format.  The lead paragraph should state your position on the topic and preview the points you intend to address.  Paragraphs 2, 3, and 4, are your body paragraphs. Each should address one of the three key points or topics you want to discuss and evaluate.  The final paragraph should restate your thesis and review the points you’ve made in the body paragraphs.


TOPIC: Utilizing information provided by your text regarding the three theoretical positions (structural-functionalism, conflict theory, and the symbolic-interactionist perspective) on the sociology of religion, write an essay, following the instructions above. First, summarize each of the three perspectives. Then, compare and contrast the basic underlying assumptions of each position.


Note: There is no absolute “right answer” to this essay. It’s up to you to apply your critical thinking to the author’s argument. It’s up to you to decide whether or not the author of the essay has successfully supported her thesis.


Grading Rubric


Please refer to the rubric on the next page for the grading criteria for this assignment.


Essentials of Sociology

Essentials of Sociology


Religion is one of the important social institutions that have lasted for centuries of human civilization. Although it remains controversial on different fronts, the role of religion in the society cannot be ignored (Batson, Schoenrade, & Ventis, 1993). Sociology explains religion through three sociological theories, including functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism. Sociologists dwell on three important elements of religion in the context of these three theories, mainly, the religion as a form of culture, beliefs that translate to form of ritualized practices, and lastly, the role religion plays in giving purposes to life (Emerson, Monahan, & Mirola, 2011). Although the three sociological perspectives conceptualize religion on the same basis, they contrast in explaining the role religion plays in the society.