Free Essay. The Sociological Review

Published: 2023-01-13
Free Essay. The Sociological Review
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Sociology Religion Society Karl Marx
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1302 words
11 min read

Question 1: Wright Mills and Peter Berger Contribution in Understanding Sociology.

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Sociology is the scientific study of society which seeks to establish the social relationships, culture, and interactions within the society. The study of sociology plays a significant role in the understanding of the interplay between an individual and society and the implications of the changing society aspects (Cormack, Cosgrave, & Feltmate, 2017). The study of sociology is also key in understanding the causes and consequences of social problems such as social inequality. Wright Mills and Peter Berger are significant contributors in the study of sociology at different levels. Wright Mills sociological imagination is the ability of taking a different perspective on the social routines away from the daily perspective to be able to establish a critical view on social issues (Cormack et al., 2017). Through social imagination one is able to identify the different interactions of social aspects by being able to pull away from the situation to evaluate it from a vantage point and it is key in creating the sociological perspective. Sociological imagination fronted by Mills can be used to understand different sociological aspects of the society such as marriage and family relations. For instance, in understanding the cause of domestic violence (Cormack et al., 2017). It can directly be attributed to the disagreement between the wife and a husband. However, using sociological imagination one can identify different interactions and causes of domestic violence such as dishonesty, poverty, poor management of resources and unmet expectations. Using sociological imagination makes it possible to identify different causes of social problems as well as creative solutions. On the other hand, Peter Berger primary contribution in the field of sociology is the seeing through sociological perspective which has also been defined as seeing the general in particular. Berger means that sociologists can be able to observe trends of individuals in social groups which can be used to understand the impact on the society on the individuals. Individual experiences in the society has a significant impact on their choices and decisions and using different avenues of seeing through from a different perspective which is key in creating a broad perspective (Cormack et al., 2017). The seeing through theory by peter is very similar to Mills sociological imagination in that they both encourage using the patterns of behavior to create a deeper perspective on the social issues affecting the society. For instance, understanding the sociological phenomena of love in the society can be achieved through the use of Mills sociological imagination and Berger's seeing through which can help to view the sociological phenomena from a different angle and even deeper (Cormack et al., 2017). For instance, using Berger's seeing through sociological perspective it is easy to create an alternative perspective on marriages and the understanding that they are not just based on love and feelings but other considerations are made by couples such as financial security, genetic feasibility, cultural obligations and peer relationships.

Question 2: Compare and Contrast Durkheim and Karl Marx's view of religion. What is the Purpose of religion? How does it function and interact with the rest of the society?

Religion can be established as a cultural system that facilitates the worship of a superhuman and encompasses behavior, practices, sanctified places, ethics, world view, and practices that are associated with connecting humans to a supernatural being (Turner, 2014). According to Durkheim religion is predominantly a social aspect and involve multiple representations. Durkheim goes further to establish the source of religion as the need for human solidarity and it is key in providing meaning to life of the people associated with it. Therefore, Durkheim postulates that religion is an integral aspect of the social systems with the primary role of creating social control, purpose and cohesion. Besides, religion gatherings are used as a means of communication and interactions which leads to the reaffirmation of the social norms. It is important to note that religion according to Durkheim became an agency of solidarity and morality and can be instrumental in understanding religion (Turner, 2014). Religion exists as a sacred and profane phenomenon. The sacred phenomena of religion means that it is set aside in that beliefs, deities, rites and places of worship are accorded a special treatment and the corresponding beliefs, rites and sacred places constitutes a religion. The profane phenomena of religion sets aside things considered ungodly which coexist with the sacred aspects of the society. Society has a significant role in creating religion by differentiating the sacred and profane objects and beliefs which is key to social continuity and creation of order within the society. Karl Marx has been instrumental in the definition of religion as well as the establishment of its function. According to Marxism, religion is viewed as an opium of the masses and he notes that it a social institution that is dependent on the economic and material realities that affects the society members (Turner, 2014). Marx views religion as a reflection of the real world in that it can be understood using other social systems and structures of society such as economy. Therefore, Marx dwells on the purpose of religion in society to describe it based on how it serves society and not the content and its beliefs. Therefore, Marx views religion as an illusion that is key in the functioning of society by creating excuses to facilitate the functioning of society. Both Durkheim and Marx agree that religion is a functional instrument created by society to facilitate social function (Turner, 2014). However, whereas Durkheim holds that religion is key in the creation of social institutions and order Marx believes that religion is a creation dependent on the society aspects such as economic value.

Question 3: How do resource mobilization theory, political opportunity theory and frames help to explain the emergence of social movements?

The resource mobilization theory came into being in 1970s as a potential interpretation of social movements. The model is based on traditional discontent, resources, and political resources that should be mobilized and the dependent of the movements on external resources (McCarthy & Zald, 1977). The primary argument of the resource mobilization in the creation of social movements is that for the social movements to deliver collective goals resources have to be pooled together and there is need for a collective behavior by individuals to achieve shared resource benefits. The aggregation of resources facilitates social movement activity because on the need to pool resources to be able to meet a social problem. The political opportunity theory refer to the informal national signals within the political and social actors that motivate or discourage them to create social movements using internal resources. The opportunities are the chances for collective action. For instance, the openness or closure of the political system, presence of allies and the capacity for state repression of social movements. Therefore, when there is favorable political opportunity social movements can exist but in the absence of political opportunity such as lack of allies and the existence of a strong state repression system reduces the ideal environment for the creation of a social movement (Giugni, 2009). The two theories are significant in framing the emergence and facilitation of social movements.


Cormack, P., Cosgrave, J. F., & Feltmate, D. (2017). A funny thing happened on the way to sociology: Goffman, Mills, and Berger. The Sociological Review, 65(2), 386-400. Retrieved from

Giugni, M. (2009). Political opportunities: from Tilly to Tilly. Schweizerische Zeitschrift fur Politikwissenschaft, 15(2), 361-367. Retrieved from

McCarthy, J. D., & Zald, M. N. (1977). Resource mobilization and social movements: A partial theory. American journal of sociology, 82(6), 1212-1241. Retrieved from

Turner, B. S. (2014). Religion and contemporary sociological theories. Current Sociology, 62(6), 771-788. Retrieved from

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